Max Polyakov: How To Prepare Your Dog To Compete in The State Tournament?

Max Polyakov's Guide for competitive dog training

Teach your dog general life skills

It will be able to behave in a predictable manner on any environment

Dogs go through a number of growth stages and as they develop, it is crucial to learn life skills. The skills will make them respond to several social situations when they become adults.

Dogs that know how to behave properly in the presence of other dogs and other animals and human beings, feel more comfortable to participate in competitions.

Dog owners are able to understand their pets better

Pets have their own natural instincts and unique needs. They communicate differently from human beings and their behaviours are totally different from that of human beings.

If a pet is new to your environment, it is supposed to be taught how to cope in that place. A person should also know what the pet’s needs are since that is the only way he can learn to accommodate it. If a pet is not trained and neither does the owner learn to accommodate it, both the pet and the owner will become frustrated. Additionally, it will never be easy to prepare such a pet for a competition.

Dogs are taught to be respectful

In the general dog training process, the dogs are taught to be obedient. This enhances the relationship between dogs and their owners. Basic commands such as sit, stand and go are under obedience training and they are very crucial when it comes to state competitions. Max Polyakov’s Firefly and other dogs which have learnt how to be obedient find live easy and human beings do not find it difficult to live with them. Dogs that have not been taught how to be obedient are not easy to live and most of the time they are likely to attack people. Such dogs will be difficult to train for a competition.

Max Polyakov’s Training tips

According to Max Polyakov, it is risky to train a dog whose health status is unknown. A dog needs to be checked first to determine if it is fit to engage in the various exercises required in a competition. Besides that, the veterinarian is the right person to determine the type of exercises that a dog is suited for.

Stick To a Plan

This entails putting down all the activities that will take place during the training. This will assist in tracking the progress of the training. The apparatus needed and a step by step training procedure must also be written down to avoid skipping or forgetting.

Never do the training in a hurry

The training should commence with the basic activities. You will only introduce the complex activities when the pet has fully mastered all the basics and everything must be done in a slow pace.

The training should only last 10 to 15 minutes

If your training sessions are more than 15 minutes, your pet may get bored or tired. Keep the training period as short as possible and you can have many short training sessions in a day. The training duration can only be increased when the pet has fully gotten used to it.

Warming up and cooling down

For the muscles to relax and make blood flow properly, engage in warm-ups. Warming up additionally prevents injuries and keeps the dog active during training.

Cooling down also lowers muscle soreness and injuries

The training style must suit the pet

Max Polyakov recommends changing how you train your pet whenever you find that it is not responding positively. The training style can be altered as often as needed until you get what your pet is comfortable with.

The training must never be boring

The aim of training is not only to make the pet win in a competition. Training is also the perfect way of bonding and having fun with your pet. If it becomes boring, just go for a break.

The trainer must be well equipped

Get training skills from animal institutions and dog clubs. These are the places where you will find dog experts such as Max Polyakov whose dogs have received excellent coaching. Such people can give you good advice on how you should prepare your dog for any competition.

Practice makes perfect

Even after your dog has mastered all the commands needed to do well in a competition, go on practicing. If you quit practicing, the dog may forget what you taught it and you may be forced to begin from scratch again.

Avoid being harsh

Beating your pet and yelling at it when it does not follow your instructions will make it feel uneasy. A pet which is feeling uneasy will never be attentive during the training and it is likely to drift away from you.

Dog agility

Agility training entails people guiding dogs through barriers. Accuracy and the time taken are checked in this competition. The dog handlers guide the dog using voice and gestures. This competition is quite hard that dogs can never complete it without being guided.

Agility obstacles include:

Max Polyakov's Guide for competitive dog training
  • A-shaped frame
  • Two large ramps measuring 3 feet wide and 8 to 9 feet long are connected and raised 6 feet over the ground to form the shape A. The A frame is often coloured with a bright colour and it functions as the contact location where pets place a paw when going up and down.
  • Dog walk
  • Three 8 to 12 feet boards, 9 to 12 inches wide, are connected. The board at the center is raised 4 feet up. This hurdle also acts as the contact location.
  • Seesaw – this is a board which is between 10 and 12 feet and pivots on a fulcrum. The seesaw if placed slightly off balance so that one end can go to the ground each time.
  • Crossover – this is a 4 feet high and 3 by 3 feet square platform. This obstacle has ramps and dogs are supposed to go up the correct ramp and go down the ramp that the handler suggests. Crossover is very cumbersome and it is actually highly discouraged. This is because it is easy for pets to fall since it hard to determine where the ramps join with the platform.
  • Tunnel – a tube which is between ten and twenty feet long and has a diameter of about 2 feet, where dogs run through.

Preparing your pet for a jumping competition

There are several ways of teaching a dog how to jump. However, in all cases you have to keep adding the height and make it harder. This is meant to maintain the confidence of your pet and to make it build strength and fitness.

The development of muscles takes long and your pet need to grow the muscles needed for jumping to enable it protect its joints. Dogs that are unhealthy; have long backs and those which are still below one year should never engage in a jumping competition. You also need to first make sure that your pet is obedient and knows the basic commands. Start the coaching by demonstrating to the dog how to jump. Encourage it jump as high as possible and using treats is highly recommended in this exercise. Hold a treat high in the air forcing your pet to jump very high to retrieve it. Max Polyakov says that patience is important in this course because a pet can never become an excellent jumper overnight.

It is recommended to also use cinder blocks along with plywood to train your pet how to jump. Plywood and cinder block create the best jumping apparatus. Once your pet has learned how to jump, it will become core confident. At this stage, you may now add more cinder blocks to make the jumping height higher.

As your pet advances, you can complicate the exercise further by performing the jumps on a lake dock. You can increase the pole with things that can allure your pet to keep jumping higher and higher.

In state jumping competitions, pets are required to jump between 8 inches and 3 feet height. The height can be a bit higher than that sometimes and it is normally determined by the pet size.

Jumping strengthens pets and it is a great way of improving fitness. So, whether you pet wins as Max Polyakov’s Firefly or not, it will have still benefited from the exercise.

Other competitions which pets can be trained for


This is a race with comprises of barriers and two teams of four pets take part in it. A pet from each teach competes with its opponent over several jumps. The height of the jump is determined by the smallest pet on every team.

The pets run over barriers, on a box which produces a tennis ball that should be captured when a pet presses a pad and then returns to the handler. Every pet must take back the tennis ball to the beginning point before the next pet begins the course. The team in which all the four participants finish first without any error wins the competition. A team gets penalized if the tennis ball falls or if the next participant is released before the right time.

Dock diving

In this sport, pets jump from a dock into water. Normally, the dock is between 35 and 40 feet long, 8 feet wide and 2 feet over water. A carpet or an artificial turf is used to cover the dock to ensure good traction and the pets’ safety.

Max Polyakov's Firefly

Every team in dock diving contest performs 2 jumps in a round-robin manner. Scores are awarded as per how long the jump is. A jump whereby the pet’s tail immerses in water at a section far from the dock than the rest of the body is graded using the pet point. For instance, nose or head which breaks the water surface nearer the dock. And if the pet strides off and begins jumping before the dock end, that is not good. This is because the jumps are always graded from the dock edge and not from the point where the pet leaves the dock.

Disc dog

Also referred to as Frisbee dog, this is a sport where pets and handlers engage in throwing and catching discs. To get the winner title like Max Polyakov’s dog - Firefly, this sport requires the bond between a pet and its handler to be strong because that is how they will be able to work together.

A pet and its handler engage in tossing and fetching and they earn points as per the catches at various lengths. This sport also features freestyle event which comprises of small routines choreographed to songs with many discs in play.

Divisions in disc dog competition have several formats but in overall the longest catch is the champion.


Before selecting a sport for your pet, it is good to attend several competitions with your pet and see the one it loves most. A part from that, you must consult a veterinarian also since he is the expert who can determine whether your pet is suited for the competition you want it to participate in. Once you have settled on the right sport and you have been trained how to train your pet, you can go ahead and start training. With everything in order, your pet can excel just like Max Polyakov’ Firefly.