Swift is now 13 weeks old and full vaccinated, so she is pretty ready to rock and roll puppy style! After Sparrow’s 1-2-1 session with Helen Anderson this month, we spent 10 minutes playing with Swift.
Many people believe that a pup can’t start doing agility until they are over a year old, and in terms of doing equipment, jumping and running courses that is true. But there is so much foundation work you can do with your pup, so that when the time comes and they are old enough to actually do the obstacles, they have a solid base of knowledge to build upon. This makes things so much easier and prepares the dog to play.
All puppy training for me is about having a lot of fun. Everything I teach is in the form of a game that the pup enjoys and wants to repeat, building value into working with me and building a strong relationship.
Sparrow attended Helen Anderson’s monthly puppy agility classes when she was a baby and that gave us both such a head-start in our agility journey. Which is why I wanted to do the same with Swift.
Swift had great fun playing with Helen. We worked on getting her to race to me as fast as possible and to have great fun tugging. This involved restrained recalls and first her driving to my side and then her flying through my legs after her toy. She was one very happy pup!
Of course, these games are not just for baby dogs. I play similar games with Sparrow and, to a lesser extent, Merlin. They are about increasing drive, motivation and confidence. Oh, and about having an awful lot of fun!
I would definitely love to see my brother playing these games with his greyhound, lol!