Thinking about starting your Gordon Setter in Agility and wondering how to start?
Below you’ll find a free video download from Bad Dog Agility. You can also search for other training articles published on this site by clicking the magnifying glass on the top right hand side of this page and typing in training, or you can see all the articles by clicking on the word “Training” in the Content Cloud on the left hand side of this page.
To see Gordon Setter agility training in action view click the link to an excellent article “Ready Set(ter) Gooooo!” written by Linda Stebbins.
Bad Dog Agility developed this course to:
- provide you with practice sequences that can be done with 4 jumps and a tunnel
- help you execute and evaluate when to use the most common handling maneuvers seen in AKC agility: the rear cross, the front cross, and the 270
- challenge you with advanced sequences
Challenge yourself and your dog — download the free ebook now! And visit us at Bad Dog Agility for more articles, videos, and podcasts.
Looking for any of our experienced Setter Agility trainers to share their favorite techniques and/or training courses. Respond with your suggestions in the comment section of this article or send us an email at email@example.com.
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
Photos courtesy of Linda Stebbins
Photos from the 2016 GSCA National Agility Trial by Bill Dargay
and…Hot off the press from AKC
New Entry-Level Agility Classes Added for BeginnersBy: Randa Kriss
The AKC will now offer two new entry-level agility classes. These classes, Agility Course Test (ACT) 1 & 2 will allow beginners an easier entry into the sport.
The classes will have shorter courses with basic obstacles specifically designed for beginners. ACT 1 & 2 will serve as the graduation exercise for training classes and can be held at regular AKC agility trials or as stand-alone events.
“This innovative program provides a bridge for new exhibitors to easily become involved with AKC agility,” said Doug Ljungren, V.P. for Sports and Events. “The foundation skills learned prepare a dog/owner for future success in agility and many other sports. We are excited about working together with the AKC training clubs and training facilities to introduce future generations of dogs and owners to the wonderful world of AKC sports.”
See videos and learn all the details on the AKC website by clicking here: http://www.akc.org/news/new-entry-level-agility-classes/
PERFORMANCE Enthusiasts – HELP!
We’re in need of Performance material to publish for our readers on this Gordon Setter blog. We truly need your support and expertise to build reference material for those who are seeking information and mentors to help them learn more about performance competitions and training. We need your expertise and encouragement to draw more owners to enjoy time with their Gordon Setters in performance competitions.
- We are always seeking writers to share their material, experiences, or expertise here.
- We are always seeking training enthusiasts to share links to websites or other blogs of value to those who share your passion or are seeking knowledge.
- We are always seeking your recommendations of books and videos.
You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contributions or questions.
Hope you’ll join in to make some noise about your adventures in performance events!
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
“Assessing virtue is the essence of the whole judging process. However, the assessment of faults is also a part of that process.” Ann Gordon, Dachshund Club of America, February 2013 AKC Gazette
Whether we are new to breeding or have spent years putting puppies on the ground, we must always maintain perspective in the assessment of faults. When a dog possesses a fault that detracts from the very essence of Gordon Setter breed type, then both breeders and judges will need to be cautious in their assessment of that particular animal; and breeders need to be extra cautious as to the judicious use and the depth to which those faulty genes are going to be introduced into the gene pool, if at all.
Let’s be honest, there are many dogs who are very glamorous, who have beautiful showmanship and when those qualities are added to the fundamentals of breed type that dog is a sight to behold for breeders and judges alike. Where we need to be cautious is in viewing the dog who is superficially attractive but missing a fundamental quality of breed type, we must learn to see beneath the flash and glamor to the place where breed type is also needed to assess the overall quality of the dog and his use for breeding. (remember that the word “dog” used here is equally as applicable to a bitch)
In weighing faults of type one must include in the assessment, all the attributes this dog brings to the breed in order to properly determine the judicious use of the dog and the legacy left in the gene pool. If this dog is a top winner and breeders all rush to use him, then it is his owner who may be holding the reins that guide the future direction of the breed through the gene pool, especially if other breeders do not make appropriate choices for their bitch.
On the flip side, we must also understand that it is not always the top winning dog, lacking in type, who negatively impacts the gene pool, though it is easier to hold them accountable as their high profile makes them more obvious targets. Sometimes faults of type are being replicated litter after litter in a more prolific manner by those who fail to recognize the qualities of breed type, and therefore, unaware that they are replicating fault, continue to put multiple litters on the ground with faults of type.
So we must all, new and experienced, understand faults, both in soundness and in type, and we must all recognize that we each have a grip on the reins guiding the future of the breed. And most importantly for those who are experienced, we must be there to guide and mentor those with less experience as they may quickly learn to see soundness but breed type is best learned through the guiding eyes of others.
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
Photos by Bob Segal are for viewing pleasure only and are not intended to illustrate points in this article.
The folks who know me well, won’t hesitate to confirm, that when I want to get a project rolling or a conversation started I am sometimes willing to go “out on a limb” to get that ball rolling! With that said, I’m going out on a limb now, and I am fully confessing my ignorance about Agility training and all things related. But, what I do want, is to see us keep the ball rolling when it comes to sharing information with our audience that might encourage others to start training, or help someone who is working to train their Gordon Setter for performance competition.
So, I’m posting this video link knowing full well that I am going out on a limb having no Agility experience. Along with this link then, comes my request that you, readers who are actively training, consider commenting about the effectiveness or techniques that are shown here, is this good advice, is there better advice to be found elsewhere, did this type of training help you get your Gordon Setter ready for competition?
I am also asking that you consider contributing to this cause by submitting articles, or links to articles that you believe will help others who are working with their Gordon. Many would love to see articles shared on this blog that come from you, whether you’ve written them yourself or are providing links to those written by others. People do want to learn about Agility and Obedience competition and I hope that those of you who are actively participating with your Gordon Setter will join here in providing guidance and assistance that is truly valued by all. Don’t do it for me – I can’t possibly keep up with a Gordon in the Agility ring – do it for those who want to learn from you.
Here you go, just click this link to view the video: How To Teach Weave Poles With the 2×2 Set Up.
To send articles or suggestions you may email me at: email@example.com
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
Photo by Susan Roy Nelson
I understand that participating in speed competitions with our Gordon Setters can sometimes result in injury for the dog, and that helping our dogs prevent such injury ranks very high for those engaged in trials like Agility or Flyball. There is a ton of good advice to be found on the internet and offered by your own trainers and training partners, as well as by physical therapists. I did run across this article written by Bobbie Lyons and published at Pawsitive Performance and I thought I’d share it with you. Perhaps we can start a discussion here that will generate other great resources for everyone working and training with their Gordon Setters about how they can properly condition dogs to help prevent injury.
If you’re competing or training in any of the performance events and you know of resources that will help others avoid injury would you share them with us by making a comment on this article?
Here’s the link to the article by Bobbie Lyons – Avoiding Iliopsoas Injury – Doubles, Triples and Broad Jumps – Pawsitive Performance.
A few more resources I found on the subject:
Ilopsas Strain Revisited by Peter J. Lotsikas DVM, Diplomate ACVS and Faith M. Lotsikas DVM, CCRT
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
Just found an article to share with you all about starting your Gordon Setter puppy in Agility training. As with any responsible trainer the author reminds us that puppies are growing and because it’s easy to cause growth plate related injuries, cautions us not to engage in strenuous training.
Be sure to read our previous article about the puppy’s growth plates before you start any training Mary, Mary Quite Contrary, How Does Your Gordon Grow?
Here’s the link to the article (click the bold title to go there): Agility and Puppies found on Everything Dog at Alpine Publications
“Agility is an excellent way to help an active puppy burn off some energy while having fun at the same time he is building a bond with his owner. While strenuous training is not recommended, or requiring the puppy to jump at full heights, the puppy can learn a lot of the basic foundations that make up agility.”
And for even more helpful tips and videos about training our Gordon Puppies for Agility click the colored title link that follows to go to another article we published written by Linda Stebbins – Ready Set(ter) Goooo
Feature photo of that cute Gordon Puppy by Laurie Ward
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
Would you all join me please and give Susan Nelson, Casper WY a huge round of applause for sharing her experience with Gordon Setters in Agility! We asked Susan to share with us and she has been kind enough to respond to our request. We believe you’ll truly enjoy Susan’s story.
“I have to admit, I’ve not done any agility in a few years and even longer for Obedience. Most of my time now is spent in conformation with Blue and Layla. I’m in the process of selling all my equipment, my desire for agility has faded. My girl, Lillan, was my star and the love of my life. When she died, part of me died also. I stopped running agility with her daughter, Keeley and shortly after, Pippi was retired, she was getting too old. I did start with Fiona (granddaughter), and she did OK, but she wasn’t Lillan. Now, I don’t want to run again. I hope, once Layla finishes (only needs two points), and when her brain gets here, I’d like to try Obedience. It’s been a LONG time since I trained that.. but figure, I’m retired so have some time. Even if we never get into the ring until she’s 10!
Gordon Setter Expert asked Susan if she would share answers to the following questions:
I used to do Obedience and Agility. I hope to do Obedience with our youngest Gordon, Layla. I did take Pippi into the Rally ring and got her title in three days. Had no idea what I was doing, though. She was working towards her CDX, so most of it seemed like fun to us.
Could you share a brief history of when you started to train and why you choose the events that you are choosing now?
When I started training back in 1999, it was basic obedience with our first Gordon, Pippi who earned CD AX AXJ RA titles. As we progressed through these classes, I decided to try to do Obedience with her. There is something about watching Obedience competition, I love it. About the same time, a group of friends in town heard of this thing called ‘agility’. None of us knew what it was, but we got together, and ‘played’ at it. Eventually, we decided to enter competitions. When I entered my first agility trial, I entered 600 miles away from home so no one I knew could watch us. It wasn’t ‘pretty’!
How would you describe the Gordon Setter as a learner?
Head strong! With the three girls I did work agility with, once they learned it, I found out I couldn’t keep practicing it. They decided they knew it, and would wander off. They are hunters, and if I wasn’t on top of them all the time, they would go into hunt mode. And, they did it in the ring many a time. I did find out, Gordon Setters do very will with clicker training! They are independent and smart… makes for a tough dog to train.
What advice would you give to someone new, just starting out about where to look for resources in order to learn training techniques?
Find someone who gives lessons. We live in an area where there are no training facilities. The closest is 4 hours away.
Is there a method or combination of methods that you use and find most effective with Gordon Setters?
Clicker Training! Work for 5 min at a time. Mine loved treats and were not toy motivated. If possible, I would try to get a toy motivated Gordon.
What type of training class or trainer, if any, would you advise them to attend or seek?
Someone who understands the Sporting Dog. These dogs are smart, but they have a mind of their own. People with Border Collies, Aussies, they have NO idea how to work with a hunting dog. If possible, find workshops to attend, local clubs (if there are any) put them on a few times a year. Ask questions at trials, go and watch. Find a person who is willing to talk to you. You can learn a lot that way.
I never used many books–the ones I did, I don’t remember. I gave them away to friends. I found out more by following people around the agility ring during walk through. As we walked the course to learn it, if I was unsure of something, I’d just follow someone who knew how to do it. I learned more by watching than anything.
Any recommendations for internet resources like blogs or websites?
Can’t help here.
When working with a Gordon Setter what do you believe are the most important things to remember about the breed?
They are smart and very independent. They are also quick learners. They can also be stubborn. One thing I learned back with Lillan (and the other two)–once we practiced a sequence, and I went to do it again, Lillan would just take off and run it. They learn it so fast… so I had to shake things up. If we went right to a jump, then the next time, I’d go left. Even then, it was hard to keep them focused on what I wanted to do. Pippi would start great, and then go into hunt mode, if she got a scent of anything, off she’d go. Many a time, I excused us to go and get her!
Susan Nelson, Casper WY February 2015
Click the title of this video Susan and Pippi at the Glory Run for Retired Agility Dogs to me it is a must see.
Susan has uploaded several YouTube videos of her Gordon Setters running in Agility, another fun run to watch is called Fiona Can Fly and fly she certainly does.