Dog agility is a popular sport in the United States that interesting for both challengers and viewers.
The organization who organizes these training like AKC (American Kennel Club), UKC (United Kennel Club), USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association) and CPE (Canine Performance Events) have their own type of agility.
If you are thinking to participate – be familiar with the rules of hosting organizations.
Dog agility training helps to build teamwork and confidence between dogs and a dog owner.
For reaching a higher level in competition two things matter the most, obedience training and leash dog training.
Although this training is always fun for dog owners and dogs. Agility needs a high level of concentration and positive guidance from both dog handler and dog.
Dog Agility Training For Beginners
Agility training is fun and constructing a common language between both (dog and dog owner).
This training teaches you to use body language like hand signals, other verbal commands to connect and understand clearly and effectively.
Agility training is a set of obstacles that create a course and your dog has to go through.
Your canine’s fitness level and energy level both are essential parts of agility training.
Before starting the training, you must take your dog to the doctor for a physical examination.
This training involves jumping, climbing, turning at a very high speed may injure your dog and this is part of advanced dog training.
Always remember never to force your puppy to do something that can terrify him, be patience with your dog.
Dog Agility Commands
We all know dogs are friendly, responsive and most important they are quick learners.
To keep your dog healthy and fit, this training is important.
Your dog does not require to perfect in basic obedience like Sit, Come, Heel but you both have good understanding.
Agility is a sport and your dog should obey your command if you want to go to a higher level in the competition.
Let’s start with the directional command Back, Come and Go.
Back command you need to teach your dog when he turns away or may your left or right side.
Come command simply means when dog coming towards you.
Go command when you and the dog moving in the same direction, the dog moved ahead of you until he received any other command.
Let’s talk now about Sit and Stay, you will need an 8-10” table to perform this command.
First, give command your dog to jump over the table. When he feels comfortable with the table use command sit and stay command or down and stay.
When your dog understands these commands now mix up the command. For example: Command your dog to come on the table, Sit on the table, Go from the table, etc.
Benefits of Dog Agility Training
Agility training makes your dog alert and strong apart from entertainment.
This training improves communication between you and the dog for working effectively.
Your dog has access energy and the best way to release this energy is agility.
When your dog runs and passing many barriers that would be challenging.
Your dog depends on your command verbal or maybe hand signals, it will enhance the trust in you.
Here are some more benefits for the owner and dog below:
Some Benefits To The Dog –
- Keep your canine fit
- Allow your dog to complete the required exercise.
- Increase trust and confidence as a friend and as an owner
- Easily learn basic obedience commands.
- Sharpens your canine’s brain
- Increase your dog’s confidence.
- Improve canine’s skills of learning.
Some Benefits For Dog Owners –
- Follow the given command
- Keep you healthy and alert
- Increases your leadership skill
Dog Agility Training Equipment
Dog agility is a competitive sport with full of thrilling and exciting for dogs and dog handlers.
Dog owners perform like dog handlers and basically, your dog has to go through several barriers in the racecourse.
Dog walk and teeter-totter and many other obstacles your dog has to perform. This training equipment is quite expensive and also big.
You can set this equipment at your home if you have a good budget or you can join agility classes. On a low budget, there is some equipment you need to take a look at:
This tunnel is usually made of plastic, fabric, or wire and this is the easiest obstacle to teach your dog.
This equipment does not take much space and it is inexpensive also. Apart from this tunnel, you are going to require a tunnel holder, so your dog can roll through it and the tunnel does not roll.
This equipment is easy to store when there is no need for this just crush it and store it wherever you want.
There are 12 poles that are placed 24 inches distance and this is one of the most challenging obstacles in the competition.
In this obstacle, the dog has to run in a zig-zag pattern. If you are going to practice at home with your dog, you need extra time and practice to polish the dog moves.
This obstacle shows how much control and stability the dog handler has on their dog.
Your dog must have jump on this table and sit or stay which will be decided by the competition judge before the trial begins.
There you can use a homemade table but the table should be 10-12” in height.
When Should a Dog Start Agility Training?
Eligibility criteria as per the agility competition, your dog should be a minimum of 18 months of age.
This means you can start your dog training when he is 8 to 12 months old.
Weave poles are very tricky to teach, so start slow and make this training interesting.
Introduce your puppy with basic exercise and low-level equipment.
You will see the behavior changes when you work with real equipment with your mature dog.
You can start teaching some basic dog agility training commands to the puppy’s early age at home. You can teach
- Staying at one place when command
- Coming when calling
- Walking next to you (left & Right)
- Sit on a table
To teach your dog distance then you need to call your dog and send it again to the same place.
Start training of your puppy, keep training session short. Give attention to your dog as much as possible, because this training will help you to build a strong relationship with the dog.
Is Dog Agility Cruel?
The simple and quick answer will be No, in fact, dog agility training is good for dogs in terms of obedience, exercise and sharpens your canine’s brain.
This training will help your dog to build up its quality of life. Introduce this sport properly to your dog and never ask him to perform any task beyond his limitations.
This training helps your dog to solve behavioral problems and increase focus.
In some cases, where a dog owner has only one goal to taking their dog in competition.
Excessive training can harm your dog physically and give emotional stress as well, this could be cruel in this scenario.
If some dog has diseases like arthritis, muscular-skeletal issue, or kind of vision problem.
I strongly recommend agility sports is not the right sport for this kind of dog. They will only suffer pain and discomfort in training.
Is Agility Training Good For Dogs?
First, if you check the dog’s history when they were not with humans.
They have to find and chase the prey for a meal to survive in the forest.
Hungary dogs had to be fast and clever to ensure the next meal.
Dogs hunted in a past small creature like Rabbit in woods, around the rocks, or in the heavy buses.
In short, you can say dogs have the genetic ability of agility. Agility training is good for dogs to stay fit and keep in shape.
Essentially, agility training gives great cardiovascular, strong, and mental exercise for you and your canine.
In dog agility training, you have to give commands to your dog and that will strengthen communication as well as the bond between both of you.
You will get the result as, well behaved and obedient dog. This sports training also helps your dog to build confidence with the handler.
Can I Teach My Dog Agility At Home?
Before investing in agility lessons, you can teach basic obedience and behavior training at home.
May you have a little puppy and you want to teach him agility at home, start teaching him the basic skill to build his confidence.
Without a handler, a dog can do nothing in agility because it’s a team sport.
Teach your dog to make eye contact with you by giving him some simple commands like Watch me or look at here.
Develop your dog’s flexibility will help your dog to learn new tricks in a short period.
Take a hot dog and take that close of your dog’s nose and when your dog tries to eat that hot dog spin around.
That will help your dog to learn how to spin and increase flexibility.
Dog Training Agility Exercise
Jumps: Dogs are natural jumpers and in agility competitions, dogs have to jump over the hurdles.
Dogs generally jump when they are excited when they are catching a ball or saying hello.
This exercise could be the best exercise for your dog in the preparation of agility completion.
You can start with a low hurdle and the hurdle should be in between both of you.
Call your dog and introduce a command called ‘Jump’ and when he has done his job correctly reward him with the treat. Increase the size of the hurdle after some time.
Tunnel: You can make this tunnel exercise fun and stress-free. All you need to do is start with a straight tunnel with some tasty treats.
Through pieces of treats in the tunnel and stand behind your dog with a whistle. Or else you can through treats in the tunnel and wait another side of the tunnel with the treat.
Weave Poles: This is one of the hardest in dog agility and it takes time, patience, and most important accuracy.
Place poles in around 24 inches of distance and now take your dog in and out on a lead.
When your dog starts enjoying this process, it’s time to increase the speed. Do not forget to give a treat reward to your dog after every round.
Spins: This exercise is easy to teach and you do not need any equipment in this exercise.
All you need to do is take a piece of treat and hold that on the tip of your dog’s nose. Now move your hand in the direction wherever you want to spin your dog.
Most important say the commands loud like left or right to make your dog understand these commands.
Conclusion: Dog agility training is the best way to communicate and build a bond.
This training required a high level of concentration and positive guidance from both dog and dog owners.
Make sure before starting training and in some interval, you must visit a vet doctor for dog examination.
As like human being dogs have moods too, sometimes bad and sometimes good. Understand the dog’s mood and act accordingly.
In agility, your canine has to go through a set of obstacles, start slowly.
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