A week ago I got to pick up an 8 week old Border Whippet that I named Wall-E.
Wall-E came from an excellent breeder who did an amazing job raising him, exposing him to all sorts of new things, every health test, and uploaded non-stop videos and pictures for all the future owners to see.
I fell in love with Wall-E very fast, and always picked him out in every video and picture and my heart just knew he was the puppy that was coming home with me.
Since I have picked him up he has traveled from Iowa to Montana, and now on to Canada for the next couple of weekends for trials.
So what are my plans with Wall-E? What are his first steps for training?
My plans for Wall-E right now consist of him learning to hang out with my dogs, walk on a leash, and just be a puppy.
I will of course train him, he will learn life skills and focus skills. But when it comes to agility skills? I am in no hurry.
And I still won’t be in a hurry when he is 8 months old. Or a year old. Will he be learning some basic “stuff”? Yes, probably.
Jumping. Big No.
Will he be learning the basics of flat work for directionals? Yep.
Some Outs around cones? Yep.
Fun games that may someday apply to agility? Yep.
I watch so many people in such a rush to teach obstacles skills to young dogs. Nothing breaks my heart quicker than to watch someone start weave training on an 8 month old puppy.
I want them to just “be” for a while, learn how to live in my family and learn how to work with one another.
I am in no rush when it comes to obstacle skills.
Work on teamwork, confidence, trust, and focus. The obstacle skills are easy after that.