Ivysaur sure have a lot of energy! All that vigour can get misdirected into destructive behaviour if you don’t give your Ivysaur regular, rigourous exercise. One excellent way to do that is training using agility courses. This guide will show you some of the best Ivysaur workouts and the equipment you can get to help.
Why Agility is Awesome
Ivysaur are best at using the field to their advantage, but their stocky build can cause a lot of drag. Keep your Ivysaur in top running order by keeping them active. Some benefits to using an agility course include:
- Agility is all about high-paced controlled movement, which will help tremendously in battle. The course will also give Ivysaur a mental workout by learning how to use each piece of equipment
- Agility training helps develop your communication with Ivysaur, as you learn to give accurate and precise orders
- This training technique can also be fun party piece! Your Ivysaur will love showing off his moves just as much as you’ll enjoy demonstrating your strong trainer skills
What is an Agility Course?
An agility course consists of a set of equipment, called ‘contacts’. There are typically 12-18 obstacles in a complete professional course, but you should start with one or two and build up. This guide will show the top five pieces of agility equipment and explain how to use them.
Tunnels are an easy way to train for speed, focus and listening to instructions. It is one of the simplest to teach.
It starts with trust. Your Ivysaur must believe that the dark, enclosed space is safe to go into, and that nothing scary is lurking inside. In the wild, Ivysaur tend to sleep out in the open, choosing to use camouflage rather than shelter. Small spaces are not his forte. In addition, natural ‘tunnels’ such as hollow tree logs and caves are often heavily guarded by the Pokémon living inside.
Begin by putting some of your Ivysaur’s favourite treats or toys near the entrance of the tunnel. Let him explore by himself at first and don’t introduce commands just yet. Every time he goes near the entrance of the tunnel (or better, inside) give him lots of praise. He should get the message.
Getting your Ivysaur to travel all the way through a tunnel may take lots of patience and repetition. Start with a short tunnel, and place treats throughout. If you’re lucky, he’ll just head straight through following the treats. If not, team up with someone else your Ivysaur is familiar with (perhaps a family member or human / Pokémon friend. You encourage him to go in the tunnel, while your friend encourages him to go out the other end. Gradually lengthen the tunnel, and once he has the hang of it you can start introducing bends.
To step it up, make or buy a multi-branch tunnel. Use colour markers to indicate which branch you want him to follow. Another customisation level of advanced courses is to create hills and drops in your tunnel.
Ivysaur aren’t natural jumpers. They much prefer to have all four feet planted to the ground. However, jumping is a great way to build body strength. You can use skipping ropes, hoops, jumping fences, or just set up logs at different heights. I have found most success with the latter, but my trainer friends all have their favourites.
I once trained an Ivysaur for a Pokémon Ranger who was looking to put on an event at the park. His Ivysaur was getting restless and his trainer had decided to make him part of the show. They had a series of hoops they wanted the Ivysaur to jump through, but he just couldn’t get up that high. The more they tried to encourage him, the more worried he got until it was almost at breaking point. I always think about him to help me remember that slow and steady is the best course.
I moved the hoop very low to the ground so that Ivysaur would only have to step through. I then tempted him with little pieces of orange – his favourite treat. We did that a few times a day for a week, then I slowly stepped it up so he’d have to do a little hop through the hoop. Using little baby steps like this helped to improve his confidence. After that, my ranger friend was able to take over. We managed to get that Ivysaur jumping through hoops in less than two months, just in time for the show.
Training an Ivysaur to use a ramp is a very useful trick. Not only is it a key item for endurance training in an agility course, but it can also help prepare elderly Ivysaur for transportation in and out of cars.
Ramps are very easy to train. The only issue, really, will come if your Ivysaur is afraid of heights. It is essential that you address this fear first before introducing a timid Ivysaur to a high ramp: even if it doesn’t look all that high to you!
An Ivysaur’s fear can be tackled very similar to human fear. Try to slowly desensitise him to the situation. Is he afraid of going up stairs? Try and encourage him to go up step by step. Then, see if he will look over the banister. If the fear is persistent, you could try using a hypnotherapist or Pokémon therapist to find out the cause of the issue. The ones that incorporate other Pokémon into the treatment are best, unless your Ivysaur is a good drawer.
Targets are one of the best training methods if your aim is for battling, as well as exercise. Your Ivysaur should be quite talented at hitting targets already, as he has known Vine Whip from level 7 or so. Your job is to make things more difficult. Here are some ways to create a more dynamic target practice:
- Attach targets to a washing line (one of those that moves on a pulley system) and move the targets back and forth. Alternatively, install a pole in your training grounds and do the same, but vertically
- Use AI-based targets (you can get these from some Pokémarts) where they make sounds or light up. You can programme different layouts, and even set it to music for a new challenge
- Use the clay discs used in clay pigeon shooting as targets. You could also use a frisbee
- Hide some targets around the house or garden and tell Ivysaur to make a muddy vine print when he finds them. This won’t train for hitting targets, but is is a unique way to help him use his brain
- Use a tennis ball machine to train quick reaction times. Make sure it is not pointed directly at your Ivysaur, but just to the left or right of him
Weave Poles improve dexterity and precision. They also look great in shows, if you get several Ivysaur doing it one after another. If you time it right, you can get one little head poking out to the right, while his follower pokes his head to the left. Always makes me giggle.
Teaching weave poles is one of the more challenging to train, as your Ivysaur can’t just explore by himself. Start him to the first pole is at his right shoulder, and put a treat to the right of it. As he goes for the first treat, put another on the left of the next pole. Hopefully, he will walk in the right direction. Once he gets the hang of it, introduce some sort of cue. I wave my hand in a little S shape, like a snake wriggling through grass. You only need to do this when he is at the start of the weave.
You can practice weaving out and about by getting your Ivysaur to weave in and out of your legs when taking wide steps. Remember, though, that the outside world has many exciting distractions and your Ivysaur may not be as focused as he is in the environment of your home or training ground.