My young bi-black Beckett was a year old on June 16th. I'm not the greatest dog handler or trainer but in my opinion he seems to be catching on to agility nicely. We started with a puppy seminar this past winter and I had him doing some flatwork and jumps without a bar in the basement until the weather was nice enough to go outside. During that time we also were taking Basic Obedience, I started to notice then that he would pick up things quickly; exercises we barely had a chance to practice one lesson to the next, he still seemed to improve his skill level and understanding by the next class.
We started with a Beginner Agility class and a Two by Two weave class in May. Last week we began the Advanced I class but the instructor moved Beckett up to the Advanced II class. It is an advantage to have most of the equipment in your backyard and to already have an understanding of handling required of the human member of the team. I have been doing a lot of basic jumping skills with only one or two jumps, wraps, lead-outs, go, here, etc. I also back trained the target of the contact obstacles but have to take a step backwards and refresh that skill as right now Beckett seems to have forgotten or lost that part of the contact work.
I was really surprised that he nearly taught himself the teeter. I was back training the teeter and had the teeter lowered and the up end on a small patio table when he started jumping up on the middle of the teeter and running down himself. So I promptly took the table away and made him go up from the end, he showed no fear whatsoever. My teeter is still lowered somewhat but Beckett has done full height teeters at two different locations so he seems to have acquired that skill easily. But as I said we still have to work on the independent target part again.
Two by Two Weaves however have been another story. He doesn't seem to be interested in them at all and rather than getting much better has been getting worse. We had difficulty moving from the first set of two poles and then once we had moved on to two sets of two poles he seemed to do fine. But then all of a sudden he was by passing the first two poles and just doing the second set so it was back to just two poles. We are going try channel weaves and see how he does with those and we'll keep on trying with the two by twos as it is supposed to make the entry a better skill in the long run.
I don't plan to trial with Beckett until he's nearly two so we have lots of time to work on those weaves and other skills. So for right now, he's just my Jumping Fool!!