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Is Lobo too old to start Rally?

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

  
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 3:16am PST 
So, the more I learn about Rally, the more I feel like it would be so good for Lobo. I watch the videos on YouTube, and just, in general, I love watching it, and it makes me really itch to start it myself!

But Lobo is already six years old. He's also overweight(steroids) and has an autoimmune disorder, AND has issues with other dogs. Generally, he's fine if they aren't staring at him, barking at him, really close to him, or coming at him head-on. And from what I've been learning, usually the dogs are in a crate or away from the ring, right? So it wouldn't be a huge deal to begin with.

My question is, is Lobo too old to start? I know he'll probably be competing with younger, faster, and much more... biddable? dogs, but I also know that he'll have fun. And in the end, that's all that matters to me.

If he IS too old, well, we could always just play pretend-Rally in the park and in the woods and the field.
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 6:54am PST 
but I also know that he'll have fun. And in the end, that's all that matters to me.

Here is your answer.
You don't have to compete... as long as Lobo is comfortable and enjoying it, then I don't see why he can't be in whatever class you want to take with him.
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 7:17am PST 
You know, Mulder, you're right! And Lobo really does love to work and use his brain. (:

I guess I just worry too much. laugh out loud
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Bailey - BN, RN, CGC

Are you sure I- wwant to sleep
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 10:16am PST 
As long as you and your dog are having fun go for it I started bailey in rally at 7 and she did compete in rally and beginner novice obedience this year at 10 and my other dog Opal started in rally at 5 and is competing in excelence at 7 and will soon move to perfered agility as well so it is posible with older dogs but only if you and the dog are having fun
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Sarah,- CW-SR,- CW-G1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 10:21am PST 
Some venues have senior divisions for Rally. I think they take out the jumps, give you a little more time, and maybe have less sits and downs?
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Risa- W-FDM/MF RE- RL1 CA CGC

Awesome Dog
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 5:14pm PST 
They're never too old. Actually, when Risa was younger, I always said "Maybe we'll do rally when she's 9. . ." LOL. She was always so active I thought it might be a good sport for her when she was starting to slow down. Though, she will be 9 this winter and she hasn't really slowed down at all!

Risa was 6 when I started competing in rally with her. We had been training in it for several years but it wasn't until later on that she was ready to enter the ring. (She has behavioral issues--reactivity and fear mainly--that kept her out of the ring for a while.)

It really depends on the venue as to how easy it is for an "issue dog" to compete. I find ASCA and APDT (now USDAA) to host smaller trials where you have more breathing room. AKC trials tend to be very busy and crowded making things a bit hairy for reactive dogs. We trial in both AKC and APDT. I think the hardest part is knowing if/when you're ready and navigating the crowds with a dog who doesn't like other dogs in her space. For the most part, we've had little issue. But there's nothing worse than a dog in your dog's face right before you're due in the ring! (It's happened to us 3 times now. Thankfully, Risa recovers quickly.)

Anyway, the short answer is that it's never too late to start if you really want to play. smile Most of the organizations I'm familiar with also offer veterans classes with lower jump heights for older dogs.
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Josie

Happy to work
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 6:15pm PST 
I started rally with Josie when she was about 9 years old, she loves it! We still go to class for it just for fun (my friend is the instructor so she lets me drop in with Josie every once and awhile), remember that if you decide to compete that dogs over a certain age (i think it is 9 yrs old) do not have to jump so you do not have to worry about his joints or anything.

Josie LOVES rally as it keeps her motivated and she has always been a great obedience dog and it was obvious that she loved doing it(i used her in 4H) so I decided to try rally. I was very nervous, like you, that it would be to much for her but she had a blast the first time we tried it. I really think she (and my golden) like rally more than obedience as the course always changes so it is more stimulating.

I have seen old dogs at AKC trails before, usually ones who are retired from agility and their owners want to keep them active and interested in something.

I hope you decide to try it, have fun with it!
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 9, '12 10:29pm PST 
Also keep in mind that a lot of venues also have reactive agility! So they actually have a set up specifically for dogs that have issues with other dogs in their face, etc and have the dogs crated or separated somehow.

I'd ask for a sit in for some classes and find out how they run the classes because there ARE some that have the dogs all over the place too.

Ultimately, if Lobo will have fun, go for it! I've been thinking about doing it with my Beagle because I know he'd love it, even if he didn't have enough focus, lol.
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Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 12:48am PST 
Of course he is not too old. I don't think his weight would matter much either as the courses are nice and slow and not too strenuous.

I don't compete as JT has horrible focus and is pretty reactive, and there is nowhere around here anyway, but I do set up courses at home and he likes it.

It looks like a fun sport.
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Lobo

"Stubborn" dogs- don't need- corrections
 
 
Barked: Mon Dec 10, '12 2:04am PST 
Thank you for all the help! I think I'm definitely going to go forward with this. (:
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