Agility training helps dogs build confidence and learn to pay attention to their handlers. The training includes activities such as jumps and hurdles, walkways, seesaws, poles, and tunnels.
These obstacles are not only fast-paced, but they are exciting to watch. Agility provides remarkable benefits for dogs, including better behavior, good health, and a strong bond with the dog owner.
Any dog breed of any age can participate.
After starting agility training, you’ll notice your dog becomes more responsive to orders.
Training and equipment
Training dogs at home is practically possible, but it requires setting up obstacles. Before you take that step, consider attending formal training sessions to get a better grasp of the techniques and tools needed.
The obstacles required for professional training can be hard to find and expensive. But building a backyard agility course is doable. The materials required include benches, PVC pipes, poles, and other hurdles.
Agility training has multiple advantages for your dog, including keeping your dog calmer by reducing anxiety.
Each activity helps boost your dog’s skills while challenging him mentally and physically. The tasks also increase your dog’s flexibility and body awareness.
For dogs, running agility courses is fun and can be done for both recreation or competition.
Competitive agility training
Dogs become eligible for competitive agility training between 1 and 2 years of age. Before starting agility training, dogs need to know and obey basic obedience commands.
The next step is to enroll the dog in a class or a group near your home. Formal training will enhance your dog’s ability.
In this scenario, the dog owner avoids the tedious process of setting up an agility course.
Introducing contact obstacles such as teeter-totter, dog walk, and A-frame is essential. Contact obstacles require the dog to touch marked areas spots on both ends of the obstacle with at least one paw.
During agility training, dogs learn to jump up to 24 inches, depending on their height. For the pause table, dogs jump on the table and sit or stay.
Agility training benefits for dogs
Agility training is a fun and creative way to train dogs and humans. Don’t feel rushed to complete training. With patience and encouragement, any dog can learn agility skills.
In no time, you will develop a common language of understanding with your dog. Eliminating boredom will help you manage behavioral issues in your dog.
Agility training is rapidly becoming more popular in the United States and is likely to create the foundation for your dog’s long and healthy life.
Training benefits for dog owners
As a caretaker and constant companion, the dog owner will help the dog at each stage. In agility training, you will find yourself competing with the dog to complete the assigned tasks smoothly.
In this way, you shall end up treating yourself to an intense cardiovascular session while building a stronger bond with your dog. Dogs continually rely on both non-verbal and verbal instructions from their owners, thereby enhancing the trust they share.
Also, if your dog pants during the night or even during the day, agility training can ultimately reduce panting. Consistent training strengthens your dog’s lungs and heart, which eventually reduces panting.
Agility training strengthens the bond between dog and owner and helps keep both healthy and in good shape.
Before starting agility training, make sure your dog is healthy. The breeds best-suited for canine agility include Labrador retriever, Border Collie, standard poodle, Jack Russell Terrier, corgi, and Shetland sheepdog.
These dog breeds are intelligent and are fast-thinkers, which gives them an advantage in learning to master agility obstacles.
Overweight dogs that are lazy are not the best fit for vigorous sports like agility. Dogs that participate in agility training need to be healthy, in shape and be able to breathe easily.
Daniela Carrera is a certified professional trainer at Little Paws Training.