Classes

For Beginners or Seasoned Competitors

 New Session Starts September 19th
Questions? registercontactzonies@gmail.com

 

Contact Zonies offers a comprehensive agility training program that takes its students from new beginners thru master handlers and competitors. Our classes are offered weekday evenings at our fully fenced, outdoor training site located at the Melrose Swim Club, near 32nd Street and Cactus Boulevard, in Phoenix.

Contact Zonies offers three class regular 8-week sessions each training year plus two 2-week special skills/course sessions.

Check the club Calendar for session start dates. Questions? Email registercontactzonies@gmail.com.

Beginner Class, Mondays, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM, 8 weeks, 9/19/22 - 11/11/22 $112.50

The Beginner class is designed for dogs of any age and handlers with limited or no training in agility and for experienced handlers and their new agility dog.

The Beginner class concentrates on building engagement, focus and impulse control in the dog and introduces the dog and handler to the agility obstacles. Handlers will learn how to shape behavior and encourage and foster the dog’s willingness to learn, building the dog’s confidence to tackle the challenges of agility and partnership with the handler.

The Beginner class is game based to teach dog and handler skills that provide an excellent agility foundation, but also translates into everyday life to create a fun relationship with your dog. Handlers and dogs brand new to agility will take two (2) Beginner sessions before moving to the next level (Novice).

Students are expected to help setup the exercises before class and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 9 months or older to participate. Experienced handlers with dogs under 9 months of age may be considered. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable in a group setting with other dogs and people.

Novice Class Mondays 7:45 PM to 8:45 PM, 8 weeks, 9/19/22 to 11/11/22, $112.50

In Novice, teams will continue to build the proficiency on all the agility equipment started in the Beginner class, including learning the contact obstacles and weave poles. Dogs are also introduced to jumping skills, including grids, bend work and increased jump heights. Teams are eligible to register for Novice if they have completed Beginner and received approval to advance from the lead instructor. If the team’s initial training occurred elsewhere, separate evaluation and approval by the Teaching Coordinator will be required before registering for Novice.

Students are expected to help setup the exercises before class and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 9 months or older to participate. Experienced handlers with dogs under 9 months of age may be considered. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people.

Intermediate - Wednesdays, 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM, 8 weeks, 9/19/22 - 11/11/22 $112.50

Intermediate class presents teams with longer sequences and more challenging approaches to the obstacles. Emphasis will be placed on handling maneuvers while ensuring the dog’s thorough understanding of independent obstacle performance. Obstacle discrimination and lateral and forward distance handling are incorporated into the lesson plans, along with commonly occurring sequences such as 180s, 270s, pinwheels and serpentines. Handlers will increase their use of front, rear, and blind crosses, turn away cues and similar handling moves.

The Intermediate class should be repeated until dogs are proficient on all obstacles, including 12-weave poles and all the contact obstacles. Dogs demonstrating proficiency will be allowed to move to the Advanced/Handling class. Dog/handler teams should be able to compete at the Novice/Intro level upon successful completion of the Intermediate class.

Students are expected to help set the courses and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 9 months or older to participate. Dogs under 12 months of age will not be allowed to do repetitive weave exercises and may not be allowed to jump their full jump height. Experienced handlers with dogs under 9 months of age may be considered. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people.

Advanced Handling (AH), Wednesdays, 7:45 PM to 9:00pm, 9/19/22 to 11/11/22, $112.50

he Advanced/Handling (AH) class puts more emphasis on training the handler in a wide variety of cues and signals for directing their dogs around a course.  Sequences are longer and more challenging.  Lesson plans will focus on turning cues such as wraps, turn aways, outs, lead outs, serpentines, and false turns.  Handlers will also be introduced to other advanced handling cues such as blind crosses, backsides, and a variety of collection and tight turn cues. Handlers will learn advanced obstacle skills and proofing such as obstacle discrimination exercises, handling contact obstacle from a distance and challenging weave pole entrances and exits.

Handling skills will present teams with sequences designed to replicate challenges found in Open/Advanced and Excellent/Masters level courses. Dogs must have competence on all obstacles and handlers should have reasonable competency in basic handling maneuvers. Dogs should be jumping at or close to their competition height.

 Students are expected to help set the courses and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 12 months or older to participate. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people.

Masters Course, Thursdays, 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM, 8 weeks, 09/19/22 to 11/11/22, $112.50

The Masters Course (MC) class provides dogs and handlers with masters/excellent level full courses from USDAA, AKC, and UKI. Each week will alternate between jumpers and standard along with international and championship courses. The class is overseen by instructors competing at the master’s level who will select the weekly course, offer suggestions during walk throughs, and provide feedback during your runs. Each team will be able to run the course at least twice. 

Dogs must have competence on all obstacles (including 12-weaves) and handlers should be competing at least at the Advanced/Open level to participate in this class. Dogs should be jumping at their competition height.

Students are expected to help set the courses and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 15 months or older to participate. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people.

InterSession, Mondays, 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM, 12/5/22 - 12/16/22 Special Skills for Beginner and Novice

The Special Skills classes are 2-week mini sessions (1 class/week) focusing on a specific skill set(s) for dogs and handlers offered for the Beginner and Novice training levels. Topics are selected at the beginning of each training season and can include:

  1. Jump skills (jumping and handling cues)
  2. Contact skills
  3. Weave skills
  4. Directionals
  5. Distance
  6. Start line and Focus

Students are expected to help setup the exercises and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 9 months or older to participate. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people. 

InterSession, Wednesdays, 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM, 12/5/22 to 12/16/22, Course Analysis & Fun Runs for Novice/Advanced

The Masters Course (MC) class provides dogs and handlers with masters/excellent level full courses from USDAA, AKC, and UKI. Each week will alternate between jumpers and standard along with international and championship courses. The class is overseen by instructors competing at the master’s level who will select the weekly course, offer suggestions during walk throughs, and provide feedback during your runs. Each team will be able to run the course at least twice. 

Dogs must have competence on all obstacles (including 12-weaves) and handlers should be competing at least at the Advanced/Open level to participate in this class. Dogs should be jumping at their competition height.

Students are expected to help set the courses and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 15 months or older to participate. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people.

InterSession, Thursdays, 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM, 12/5/22 to 12/16/22, 2 weeks, UKI & USDAA Games Courses for all Levels

During this two-week course, the instructor(s) will set up a nested course for all levels to run. Nested courses are setup to allow all skill levels to run a specific set of obstacles within the course. Over the two-week session, teams will get to run a UKI games course and a USDAA games course. The instructor will advise students on how to “play” these games, walk the course, and determine the best possible handling path for their team’s performance level. 

Students are expected to help setup the exercises and help tear down at the end of class. Dogs must be at least 9 months or older to participate. Handlers must be at least 15 years of age to participate. Dogs must be controllable off leash in a group setting with other dogs and people. 

How do I Find Out if a Class in Cancelled?

Your primary form of communication regarding class cancellation is email. Since weather in different areas of the valley can vary, it is best to check the forecast and if rain is a possibility or the field too wet to run, check your email before leaving home to see if your instructor has cancelled class.

You can also check the Contact Zonies Facebook Group page to see if there are any updates there.

General Class Information

Training Philosophy

Classes are taught by volunteers and not paid professional staff, although all instructors have a range of experience both in competing in agility and teaching the sport. Class lessons follow a written curriculum that is carefully designed to provide a cohesive, consistent and progressive approach to training all of the agility obstacles and handling maneuvers. Lesson plans are updated for each new training season.

Contact Zonies’ training philosophy is based on a positive reinforcement methodology.  No force or coercion is used in our training approach. Food, toy play and praise are the primary reinforcers employed to creating a positive learning environment for both the dog and handler.

Safety is also of utmost importance to us. Dog-to-dog or dog-to-people aggression is not tolerated and any incidents will be promptly assessed with the possibility of dogs being excused from class without refund of fees. Beginner dogs and new dogs to the program are required to be evaluated through a questionnaire and in-person evaluation for their ability to work in a stimulating environment without aggression to other dogs or people. 

We know that many dogs will be excited by the class setting and the activity of agility itself, especially for the new and inexperienced dogs. Lesson plans are designed to teach dogs and handlers methods to cultivate engagement, focus and impulse control along with the skills associated with obstacle performance and handling. Management techniques such as crating, the use of long line leashes and other tools are also employed in the class setting as teams are building their attention capability.

Class Structure

New students will be expected to enroll in classes according to the above hierarchy, unless separately approved by the Training Director to enroll out of sequence. Moving on to the next higher class level is determined by the dog/handler team’s satisfying criteria for the next level. Moving on to the next higher class level is determined by the dog/handler team’s meeting the criteria for the next level. Advancement criteria for each class can be found here.  Criteria for Class Advancement. 

Classes are generally comprised of up to 16 dog/handler teams. A class will be divided into two, three or four groups. Each group will rotate through exercise stations containing one or two exercises assigned to an instructor. All groups will be active at the same time.  At the Beginners level, the exercises may allow more than one team in a group to work at the same time. Often an assistant instructor is also assigned to a group as well. In the higher level classes, usually only one dog is working at a time on that group’s exercise. Teams may be given additional exercises to work on or are expected to observe the working dog in their group. 

Much can be learned by observing other teams performing the exercise and students are expected to take advantage of this opportunity while waiting their turn. Handlers are not allowed to take their dog on equipment outside the group exercise and must avoid being disruptive to other teams working. Handlers can bring transportable crates to carry with them as they rotate between exercises and place the dog in the crate while waiting their turn. About a dozen permanent kennels are available for handlers to use to secure their dogs, especially during set-up and tear down.  No dogs are allowed to be tied to fences or chairs or left unaccompanied before, during or after class.

Set Up & Tear Down

Classes are one hour in length with students required to arrive at least 15 minutes early to help set up equipment for the first class of the evening, or to stay after the last class is finished to put equipment away. Set-up and tear-down are integral components of the class requirements and all students are expected to contribute to this element of the class. We understand that not all people are capable of assisting with moving heavy equipment, but there are many tasks that students can assist with that do not require lifting heavy weigh

Barking Testimonials!

My mom learned so much! And I loved the treats and seeing my friends each week!

Joe the Collie

So glad my dad finally was able to get the hang of rear and front crosses. 

Cali the Corgi