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No doubt it is faster to train a dog to be able to start competing in agility than formal obedience, the difference is it’s often much easier to train the dog than it is to train the human for agility, and the upper reaches of both require a large dedication of time and effort.

For the most part agility is an anaerobic sport like sprnting and requires a different type of fitness than aerobic sports like tracking is. From a human health prospectice aerobic activity is associated with better health not anaerobic but I do not now of any real scientific study on the effects of either activity on the health and well being of dogs.

The number of male bassets that are/were competative in agility can be counted on one hand, not that there are many of either sex but the vast perponderance of comeptative agility bassets are female for good reason.

Agility is general the most expensive dog activity because of the cost of the equipment involved.

For the bottom line it is quite simple No one on this board is quailfied to determine if George is at risk by participating in agility. The first step is consulting with an orthopeadic vet that has reasonable knowledge of basset conformation. Second keep in mind agility training does not have to have competing as a goal. One can have fun and train at non-competative jump heights. Third , there are agility venues in which a 14" or shorter basset of a young age can compete jumping only 4" others that let you choose a jump height and some that have games/competitions that envolve no jumping what so ever. Fourth, I have a problem with the basic premise of train agility or tracking or obedience or.... there is no reason you can not try it all and see what you and the dog enjoy the most. Personnally it is my belief that the dog will excel at what the human finds easiest/most enjoyable to train. It is not that the dog finds formal obedience booring and mundane rather it is the human doing the training that does and the results obtained reflext it.

I use to have a thread on the perforamance board about getting started in agility however it has been corrupted but it basically the same informantion can be found here how do you train your dog in agility

some basic and important facts included in the above link that must be addressed before agility training.

1. I never started jump training with a basset untill it as at least 2 years old however there is plenty of there foundation work to be done.

2. The dogs weight is critical. Toughynutter the dog in the avatar was 62# when we started training and the skinniest basset around when competing he weight was 48# and he stood slighty more than 15" . Ideally you want a weight in pound to height in inches ratio of 2 to 1 or less for agility competition which is never going to happen with a basset hound however a ratio of 4 to 1 or great is a high risk for injury all the basset I compete with have been slightly over 3 to 1.

RTHOPEDIC PROBLEMS IN DOGS
"Dogs are born to run. Well, most breeds, anyway. By looking at them, Bassets, for example, don't seem to be built for speed and agility. But in their hearts they, like all dogs, have an innate drive to run, jump, play and seek out new and interesting vistas! And in the process of their quest to cover ground as fast as possible, dogs do sustain orthopedic injuries very similar to human athletic injuries. An orthopedic injury refers to damage to the skeletal system or associated muscles, joints and ligaments.

Most at risk for orthopedic injuries are the Greyhounds and Coursing dogs, sled dogs, hunting dogs, security dogs and Search and Rescue dogs. But every veterinarian sees non-athletic housedogs with orthopedic difficulties. Orthopedic injuries to active dogs are an inevitable outcome of the high stress demanded of the body structures. In housedogs, orthopedic problems seem most often to have two common predisposing factors… the dog being overweight and the “weekend warriorâ€�. Any overweight dog will be excessively stressing bone, muscles, joints and ligaments while engaged in active physical exercise. Jumping over obstacles, playing Frisbee, or exuberant retrieving of far-flung tennis balls can test the limits of anatomical structures. When there is any question about a dog’s weight, opt for keeping the dog slightly thin rather than slightly heavy.

The “weekend warrior� runs a risk of orthopedic injury (even if not overweight) because of lack of conditioning in tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. Especially in middle aged and older dogs, an infrequent 4-hour bout of vigorous exercise is less desirable than 8 thirty-minute play periods. Back pain, and even intervertebral disc prolapse that has an adverse impact on spinal cord function, can result in poorly conditioned dogs that are unaccustomed to long periods of physical activity. Try to keep your dog physically fit by frequent (not necessarily long) periods of activity and you will help keep excess weight from sneaking up on your canine athlete, too!"

I do not know what you mean when you say his left front leg is bows out . FWIW the male "Toughynutter (see avatar) had straight pointing feet and during is life was acurately described as "The World Slowest Agility Dog" the two girl when sitting had outward pointing feet. Mariah's point nearly 90 degrees to direction she is facing but is one of the fastest agility bassets ever and the only Baset hound to earn a USDAA top ten title. More important is how the dog moves most of the time the feet when the dog is in motion face straight ahead.
 

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She's sure cute--and the video quality is good on my computer. You probably want to be sure your instructor is familiar with BAsset pups and their bone structure--the agility folks can comment on this, but I think it's no jumping for the first year?[/b]
any time is arbitrary because each dog is different, You general want to wait until the growth plates close before asking the dog to jump any higher than their elbow. Personnal I have never did any jump training with a dog until it was 18 months old. generally speaking the bigger the dog the more time until the growth plates close.

I don't recall any jumping in the video. That said I prefer all agility traing be do off leash, If one does not have the necessary off leash control that would be where I would start before getting serious in obstacle training, THere is also a bunch of other foundation work that requires no obstacles that is good for starting a puppy. You will find as people become more experience in agility training they spen more time on foundation training and less on the actual obstcals because a solid foundation make obstacle training much easier and more effective.
 
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