Hiya I’m Lauren Ashby. I compete at dog agility with my 3 year old cockapoo Percy. I am 15 years old and I have been involved in agility for 6 years. Percy is kindly sponsored by Dorwest and they provide us with their supplements which help him perform at his absolute peak and he has never looked fitter!
There are many things I wished I knew when I started agility. Things from finding a good club or trainer to making sure you and your dog get the most fun out of agility!
So here are some tips I found useful along the way to help you and your dog started in agility and what to expect:
Who, what, where?
The first thing I would recommend is going on the agilitynet training list www.agilitynet.co.uk/clutch/clubs.htm. This is a list of good clubs in each area.
It is so important to find the right club for you and your dog. What I would look for in a club is their ability to cater to different types of dog, and whether they have Kennel Club approved equipment and trainers that have plenty of experience in the sport.
At what age should I start agility?
Another thing that I get asked a lot is ‘what age should you start agility?’.
I would recommend not joining an agility club until your dog is at least 1 year of age, this helps protect your dog’s joints. However, there are many things you can do before you join a club.
Make sure your dog has basic obedience (sit, wait and a reliable recall), and you can also experiment to find whatever your dog’s favourite reward is – it could be treats, play or encouragement!
Before you start an agility club, I would get your dog checked over by a vet or physio. They can check your dog’s weight and also their muscles and general fitness, they can see whether your dog is ready for agility training.
The last thing I will say is have fun! Agility is amazing – the people you meet and the fun you have with your dog is like no other, and try not to get too addicted!
From Lauren & Percy
Lauren Ashby and Percy compete in dog agility at Kennel Club licensed shows across the UK.
In 2018, Lauren & Percy won the Outstanding Young Person Award at Crufts for all their achievements, and continuing to compete and do what they love whilst Lauren was having chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Make sure you follow us on social media to keep up to date with Lauren and Percy’s progress.