Welcome to Argyll Agility and Companion Dog Training
How to become your dog's best friend - through activities, training exercises and just having fun with games and learning new tricks.
ACTIVITIESAND HELP FOR DOGS AND OWNERS
- AGILITY TRAINING FOR DOGS OF ANY AGE OR BREED
- COMPANION DOG TRAINING
- INTRODUCTION TO SCENT WORK
- BEHAVIOURAL CONSULTATIONS AND TRAINING
- GETTING A NEW PUPPY OR REHOMING A DOG
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
Argyll Agility was originally set up to provide Agility training for dogs living in Argyll. It is based on Kintyre with training venues in Tarbert and Clachan. If required training can also take place in your home or other suitable location.
Over time the type of training has been expanded to include Companion Dog Training - please check out this link for more information. Nose work sessions for dogs can also be arranged.
Dog Agility and Companion Dog Training are not a activities easily accessed in this corner of Scotland; this site and the training classes have been set up to make it easier for those who would like to find out more about how to work with their dog and build a better relationship with their four-legged friends.
Agility first started in the UK in the late 1970s and has grown to become an extremely popular sport across the world. There are competitions at all levels; from novice classes to world championships. Many people, like me, enjoy the activity as a way to spend time and have fun with their dog; and to help to keep him or her mentally and physically stimulated and fit. There is certainly anecdotal evidence that an agility dog, trained using positive reinforcement, is a happy dog and tends to have longer and more active lives.
Jack, Pip and Tove
Let me introduce myself and my dogs, Jack and Pip. I am Tove Knight and I am the instructor for Dog Agility and Companion Dog Training at both venues. Jack is an eight year old Border Collie and five year old Pip is also a Border Collie. We live on the beautiful peninsular of Kintyre in Argyll. In 2008 I sold a business I had been running for a while and thinking I would have lots of spare time on my hands I got a Border Collie to keep me out of trouble! My husband and I already had an English Mastiff and a Labrador, both were getting on in years. I wanted an active dog that would ask more of me. I knew that a Border Collie would need stimulation and from the outset I had planned to take up agility - just for fun. Jack had a bit of a difficult start as he was found to have problems with both his hips. He had two big operations when he was around eight months old. After consultation with his vet I started agility training when Jack was just over a year old; at this stage he had more or less recovered from the immediate effects from his operations. Pip joined us a a eight week old puppy in 2010 - and all peace was shattered! Great fun but also a lot of work.
I tried very hard to find a local club or organisation that could help me with agility training, but with no luck. After searching the internet extensively I came across Carol Roger who runs 'Clear Run Agility' in Ayrshire. Jack and I started travelling regularly for lessons - and we loved it. It has had many benefits for both of us; - we spend a lot of time together, Jack is more responsive and (as a teenager) was less destructive than I believe he otherwise would have been. When Pip arrived her agility training started straight away - but clearly as she was very young it was limited to basic skills and training which did not put any undue stress on her still growing body. We do some agility work or general training most days - but perhaps only for 10 minutes at a time. We have no real intention of competing but we want to improve our agility skills because it is so much fun.
About Argyll Agility and Companion Dog Training
Friends and other dog owners often asked me where they could go to learn more about agility and agility training. As there were still no facilities for that in Argyll I did eventually in late 2010, with some encouragement, start thinking about setting up some training sessions and to bring in an external trainer at regular intervals. Initially the training started at a farm in Kilmelfrod.
The aim of Argyll Agility is to give dogs and their owners or handlers an opportunity to try out the sport. The aim is to have fun with our dogs in a friendly and safe environment. More information about the venues and planned classes please see Classes and Venues. To contact Tove please see details under How to Contact.
In the autumn of 2012, after having attended a variety of training courses I was encouraged to also include training for Companion Dogs which basically is to train our dogsto be well behaved and hopefully good citizens. I therefore decided to start Companion Dog Training; initially in Tarbert but latterly in Clachan.
Companion dog training is all about building and strengthening the dog/owner relationship through exercises, games and trick training. We all like to own and see well behaved dogs; dogs which are a joy to take out and about for walks and other activities. The first training class started at the beginning of November 2012 and classes are run when there are enough demand. One to one lessons, which is the most popular choice can be arranged to meet the requirement of the owner.
Some dogs may develop issues which need behavioural modification in order to be resolved. This may be because they become reactive to people, other dogs or specific sights or sounds. Or the dog has become noisy or perhaps destructive if left alone at home. There are many behaviours that can be rectified with desensitisation, specific training or other behaviour modification. This will normally require a one to one consultation and training targetted on the particular issue. Some issues can be easily modified; others will take some time and require a larger commitment by the owner. Contact Tove if this you have a problem that you would like to discuss.
About this website
The information on this website is based on my understanding of Agility training and how, based on my training and experience, it should be approached. Clearly there are other ways to approach this and anyone wanting to take up the sport or training should think first and foremost of their dog, and his or her fitness and suitability for the activity, and also consider your own fitness level. Please take advise, (e.g. from your vet) if you are in any way uncertain about whether this is a good activity for you and your dog. For more details please go to Agility Training . If you want to contact Tove you can do so on by telephone, mobile (see How to Contact) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack and I have worked with Carol Roger of 'Clear Run Agility' for several years. She has been a great teacher and a good friend; patient and helpful - and challenging. We have learned so much and had so much fun - I am very grateful for all of Carol's help. I am also in her debt for the help she has given me when I was setting up Argyll Agility. Much of the training material I have included on this website is used, some of it in an adapted form, with Carol's kind permission. Clearly any mistakes are entirely down to me.
I have also studied and attended courses with many great companion dog trainers and behavioural consultants over the last five or six years and I have leart so much, especially from Angela White (International Animal Behaviour Training College) and John Rogerson. I recommend anyone who would like to learn more about how dogs behave and how to train and provide an enriched life for their dog to look for their courses and books. There are great courses available on the internet and also some brillant books by a variety of very experienced dog trainers. Do explore these resources - and enjoy developing the relationship between you and your dog as well as having great fun.