Agility training recently began in the United Kingdom around the late 1970’s and is one of the most rapidly growing dog sports. Tracks made specifically for agility training are made to test a dog’s mobility and stamina. In a typical dog agility training, you and your dog will be met with challenges such as tunneling, jumping, weaving and mounting just to name a few. The dog with the fastest time to complete the course and having the least number of faults relative to the other competitors will be given the award of first place.
Agility training is more than just simple obedience training, you as a trainer will be required to put in time and effort to hone your dog’s skills. If you want your dog’s agility training to get started, here are 5 things to consider.
When to Start
First, you need to make sure that your dog is physically fit to undergo the series of training and competitions. Usually, your dog must be mature enough and in peak physical condition, to assure that your dog is ready, a visit to the vet may be needed. But that won’t be enough to prepare you and your dog for the challenge. Dog agility training and human sport are very much alike, both require dedication, if you really want to participate in agility exercises and join a competition, you need to commit your time and effort in training your dog every day to increase your dog’s chances of getting that sweet prize.
Rigorous training and eventual competition against other trainers may give out serious vibes to you and your dog, so it’s important to let your dog have fun. Making your training fun and enjoyable not just to you but especially to your dog will lead to optimal overall performance. As you provide your dog with instructions you can feed him dog snacks or play games, but never punish your dog for not doing well, it will only lead to bad outcomes.
Start with Basic Obedience
Before you enter agility training, it is important that your dog understands basic commands. Undergoing this basic obedience training will not only strengthen your bond with your dog, but it’ll also boost its vocabulary making it easier to learn new commands, increasing your chances of winning an agility contest.
Be Thoughtful with Instruction
The overall flow of your agility training largely depends on the instructions you give to your dog. You should provide strong directions as your dog traverses different jumps, poles, tunnels, and contact zones. Check the obstacle, sign the appropriate command, and guide your dog clearly throughout the move.
Observe and Fix
As your dog maneuvers through an agility course, make sure to assess how they perform and try to fix early on the lapses and irregularities in their performance. This will help your dog avert any bad habits and ensure better executions in the future.
Agility training, if done properly will not only be a great way to improve the bond between you and your dog, but it’s also an amazing way to improve your dog’s skills, may it be mental or physical. It is. If you think you and your dog can handle these basic rules, then congratulations! You can now start your dog’s agility training. But do not forget that in the end, all the time and effort you spend will be worth it when your dog wins the winning prize.