Our agility program provides not only training for handlers and their dogs, but also opportunities to socialize with other dog enthusiasts in a club-like atmosphere. Most of our students continue with our program for years with many who compete in agility trials.
Beginning and continuing agility classes are held on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays during daylight hours at Cheviot Hills Recreation Center, on Motor Avenue near Pico Boulevard. The agility area is at the west end of the park near the archery range.
All agility classes are taught by Danielle Dumais.
All handlers are required to help with equipment moves and tear downs as needed.
Beginning Agility Classes
We start new beginning agility classes two or three times a year on each day. Beginning classes on Thursdays and Saturdays start in the afternoon. Wednesday beginning classes are usually at 11:00 am. We do not take registrations in advance but will notify those interested by email when we have scheduled new classes. If you would like to be notified, you must fill out the Agility Notification form.
Although it is not required, we highly recommend enrolling your dog in a Novice Obedience class before attempting agility. Because we start only a few beginning classes each year, we give priority to our active members and current and former WLAOTC students. Your dog should be at least six months old and be able to Sit, Down, Come, and Stay on command.
Continuing Agility Classes
WLAOTC occasionally has space in our more advanced agility classes. We welcome students from other programs, although consent of the trainer is required. If you would like to be considered for an open space, you must fill out the Agility Notification form.
Your dog should be at least six months old and be able to Sit, Down, Come and Stay on command. Students who have taken our obedience classes are generally ready for agility. If we are not familiar with your dog, she will be tested before the first class on her ability to sit, stay and come when called while off-leash. We will also observe her behavior near other excited dogs. We don’t expect perfection. Agility is an exciting sport for both dogs and handlers, and all dogs will occasionally be too excited to pay attention. But a dog that is not under control most of the time is not ready to do agility. If your dog fails the test, we will return your check and suggest that you enroll your dog in a novice obedience class before attempting an agility class. See Obedience Classes for information.
Agility is physical sport for dogs and handlers. As your dog’s confidence and skill increases, she will be negotiating longer courses at higher speeds. As a handler, you will be required to run through all or part of the course with your dog. Additionally, all students are required to help setting up and taking down equipment. While you don’t need to be an athlete, you do need to be in good physical condition. There’s a reason it’s called “agility”.
In our agility classes, we are training the team: dog and handler. The dog is not learning skills independently. You are both learning a new way to communicate, verbally and physically. You may have more than one person handle your dog in agility class, but both handlers need to attend class.
Continuing classes are limited to 8 students. Beginning classes may have more students, as there is usually some natural attrition.
We do not offer private training through our club.
We have a fixed number of classes each day (8) and a fixed number of spaces in each class (8). The most advanced classes are in the morning; intermediate and beginning classes are in the afternoon. As students progress and as class vacancies occur, they are moved to an earlier (more advanced) class. When enough vacancies occur, we have enough empty spaces to move everyone up and make room for a new beginning class. We cannot predict when students will leave class.
Our classes are usually completely full, and we have a long notification list. As space becomes available, we will notify those interested by email. We do give priority to our active club members and former and current WLAOTC students. If you want to increase the probability that you will be offered a space, you may become an active club member or enroll in one of our obedience classes. Has your contact information changed? Make sure to fill out the Agility Waiting List form.
Agility classes are held all day Wednesday and Saturday from 8AM to 5PM at Rancho Park. It is a public park and you are welcome to observe classes. The most advanced classes are in the morning and less advanced classes are in the afternoon. If you come, please stay outside the area marked by the fencing and please don’t ask the trainer questions during or between classes. If your dog is with you, make sure you keep him/her on leash and at least 6 feet from other dogs.
No. You and your dog will learn basic skills and be introduced to all the obstacles in your first beginners’ 8-week session. It takes months to become proficient. Before the end of each 8-week session, you will be asked if you wish to continue in class. Most of our students continue in agility classes for months and years, progressing to more and more advanced classes, and competing in agility trials.
Our trainer adjusts her training based upon the capabilities of the students, regardless of the time of day. Before each new session, she arranges the classes by grouping handlers and dogs with similar skills. Move ups are done as vacancies occur in more advanced classes and the trainer will recommend a team be advanced when they have acquired most of the skills at their current level.