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Training Philosophy and Member Achievements

Who are Agility Addicts?

Agility Addicts is a dog agility training club founded in January 2004. We currently have about 40 competing and non-competing members in total.

From the start, we have been fortunate to enjoy superb training facilities at Kingswood Equestrian Centre, Albrighton. The venue is just off the A41 (map) on the Staffordshire-Shropshire border between Telford and Wolverhampton. Our indoor venue has a top quality sand-fibre surface that is kept in good condition for our training sessions and agility shows. It is firm enough to be brilliant to run on, with some give for dogs when landing.

We are not an elitist club - we will train all types of dogs, and dogs of all heights, taking many complete beginners and bringing them up to the standard needed for success in competition. You don't need a collie to do agility, and you don't have to be a superfit handler either. But it does help to have a sense of humour, a willingness to learn and a lot of patience.

We are primarily a competing club - in that we take our agility seriously and want to work our dogs to the best of our abilities, and as a bonus be successful in the competition ring.

Our training and show venue at Kingswood Equestrian Centre

What do Agility Addicts do?

Agility Addicts members compete regularly at agility shows up and down the country. We work our dogs at all levels from Elementary through to Advanced and Championship.

We hold regular agility shows at our own training venue and elsewhere in the West Midlands, averaging about 10 shows a year.

As we know what hard work it is to run a successful agility show, we often offer our help on an individual or club basis, to judge or ring party at other clubs' shows.

We play hard as well as train hard. We hold club competition nights for members, and at agility shows we socialise and camp together. And there's the Christmas night out where we present the annual club awards, and Christmas agility party where we eat, drink, and play silly games with our dogs.

Occasionally we are asked to give agility displays at events in the area, and are happy to oblige as it gives our inexperienced handlers an opportunity to work their dogs in a different environment, and we get the chance to share our love of our sport with others.

What is our training philosophy?

We believe passionately in reward-based training methods. You cannot expect a dog to give of its best for you if it gets hauled around by the scruff, or treated harshly in other ways.

We encourage all our handlers to use clicker-training and other positive reinforcement training methods. Reward your dog for taking steps towards the wanted behaviour, rather than punishing mistakes. Always ask yourself: "What is it like for my dog to work with me?"

Our training approach is geared towards helping the dog understand what is needed by kind methods. We use channel weaves for beginner dogs to help them and their handlers gain confidence quickly. Our Elementary handlers use a mixture of nearly inline channel weaves and competition weaves in their classes, to help reinforce correct weave technique.

We encourage target training for contacts, using a marker such as a clicker or 'clicker word', not a food lure. Dogs learn stop positions at the end of contacts, in some cases the 2-on 2-off position. Where appropriate with our younger dogs, we are moving over to the 4-off position to help achieve safe running contacts.

What have our members achieved?

Here are some of our more recent successes - from 2006 onwards.

Winning Out of Elementary (Grade 1)

    Jo and Lexie (Packington, May 2006)
    Carol and Calca (Packington, May 2006)
    Chris and Jingo (Shrewsbury, May 2007)

Winning Out of Starters (Grade 2)

    Lee and Rosie (Shrewsbury, April 2006)
    Carole and Floss (Barrow, July 2006)
    Gemma and Milly (Dashin' Dogs, August 2006)
    Carol and Calca (Bromsgrove, September 2006)
    Chris and Jingo (Newton Heath, June 2008)
    Shaun and Ribena (Newton Heath, June 2008)
    Ruth and Carly (Wirral, July 2008)

Winning from Grade 3 into Grade 4

    Gemma and Milly (Dashin' Dogs, Easter 2007)
    Gina and Rum (Bromsgrove, September 2007)

Winning from Grade 4 into Grade 5

    Gina and Rum (Newton Heath, June 2008)

Winning into Senior (Grade 6)

    Lee and Rosie (Wye Valley, June 2007)
    Fiona and Bliss (Newton Heath, June 2007)
    Sarah and Tikka (Dashin Dogs, August 2007)
    Gina and Cascade (Bromsgrove, September 2007)

Qualifying for Finals

    Gina and Ember - YKC Agility, Crufts 2006
    Diane and Jacko - ABC Agility, Crufts 2006
    Diane and Jacko - ABC Agility Stakes Semi-Finals, Tatton Park 2006
    Gina and Cascade - Genesis Novice Jumping, RVA 2006
    Gina and Cascade - Adams Derby, Derbyshire 2006
    Gina and Cascade - YKC Agility, Crufts 2007
    Diane/Jacko, Gemma/Milly, Gina/Ember - Agility Addicts Trios, Wyre 2007
    Fiona/Merry, Sian/Dizzy, Christine/Tarot - Agility Addicts Trios, Wyre 2007
    Gina and Cascade - Genesis Novice Jumping, RVA 2007
    Carol/Calca, Gina/Cascade - Laser Pairs Knockout, Dashin Dogs 2007
    Fiona and Bliss - KC Novice Agility Stakes Semi-Finals, Stoneleigh 2007
    Carol and Calca - First Contact Starters Agility, North Derbyshire 2007
    Fiona and Bliss - KC Novice Agility Stakes, Olympia 2007
    Anne and Tigi (with Mike) - Laser Pairs Knockout, Dashin Dogs 2008
    Judith and Bonnie - Tuffstuff Graduate Agility, Wirral 2008
    Shaun and Ribena - Tuffstuff Graduate Agility, Wirral 2008

Please contact us for further information about training with us.

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