The Gentle Art of Teaching Your Pug Agility


 MG 0672I am writing a guide on how to train your Pug to do agility, here are some of the sections of the guide to help you on your way. When the guide is completed it will be
available to order on this website.

Karen

Why do we need a training guide for Pugility?


Pugs have been bred to be sensitive to humans; this means that traditional agility training methods used with working dogs don't always suit the pug temperament.

These little dogs are so much fun to train that it is easy to become addicted to both pugs and agility. Add the two together and we have "Pugility" (thanks Gwen Oake) which can be frustrating, exhilarating and hilarious all at the same time. If you take the challenge you will learn to develop a deep bond with your pug, communicating with each other by the slightest movement of a hand or shoulder. You will step into an agility ring (in training or competition) together as a fully functioning team ready to out-run, out-jump and out-play everyone else. If you go clear it's like winning the lottery and if you get eliminated you know you are still taking the best dog home.
Niko06I am writing this training guide as part of a Pugility Course I am running with some dear friends and fellow pug owners. The guide will be designed and developed as we go along to record our journey from just having fun with our dogs to the ultimate goal of competing at Crufts with a team of agility pugs.
When I first started in agility in 2007 with my Shar-Pei, there were no pugs competing locally and only one I had heard of nationally. A year later my agility trainer was excited when I told her I had a new dog to bring to class, excitement turned to shock when I turned up with Niko my pug. Fortunately she had lots of patience and agreed to take him into the puppy class; this was where all three of us realised that pugs don't learn in the same way as Border Collies or Shar-Pei for that matter.
I have spent the years since those first lessons reading agility books, watching videos, searching the internet, studying other handlers and attending training classes with different trainers, in search of an answer to the question "How do you train a pug to do agility?" and the many subsequent questions such as:

 

  • Do pugs really need to be trained differently to traditional agility dogs?
  • How do I keep my pug motivated?
  • Should we stop on contacts?
  • How high do we set the jumps in training?
  • How do we keep it fun for our pugs?
  • How do we stay safe?

This is not a traditional training guide where the writer, as the expert, seeks to educate the reader. I do not profess to be an expert in agility; I do however have considerable experience in training Pugility. This is still a relatively new venture for pugs so there are still many things to be learned. The purpose of this guide is to create a record of what Niko has taught me about Pugility but more importantly to make a journal of what, as a class, we have collectively learned from our pugs.
This will include hints, tips and lessons learned that other pug owners can refer to when training their own dogs. To enable readers to dip into the guide as and when needed, it is set out in sections covering each skill to be mastered. I hope to include the individual stories of these special little dogs that don't know (or do they?) that they have agreed to be part of the process of teaching us humans Pugility.
I have called it "The Gentle Art" as throughout their training they will be treated gently and with the respect they deserve as our best friends.

Steady Steps to Creating an Agility Pug

Pugs are a fascinating breed of dog, they are so stuffed full of personality it's easy to see why they are called "multum in parvo"-much in little.

 MG 0661So you have brought your pug puppy home and are surprised at how much energy she has. As she grows she chases the cat and any other dogs in your house, she demands to be walked off lead every day otherwise she will make you pay! Well maybe not as bad as that, but people often expect a lazy lapdog and are astounded when they get an energetic, happy and boisterous bundle of fun.
Bring your pug to Pugility training to release that energy and build up the bond between you. Pugs are naturally human orientated they love spending time with you this helps you to maintain collaboration in the ring. They want to please you and when they discover how much fun they can have playing the game of Pugility with you they will become addicted.

Articles

Below are some articles written by Karen White, Pugility trainer and Agility 1st Instructor. These articles examine how new research provides the opportunity to review dog training techniques.

 

NoP PDF downlaod

PART 1 - FEAR OF ANTHROPOMORPHISM Has this inhibited our understanding of dog behaviour?

 

NoP PDF downlaod

PART 2 - Applying a Psychological Approach to Dog Training: Following the Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness

Pugility on Facebook