The 3 Most Direct Things That Make You Proficient in Dog Agility Training

This Is Why They Call It Agility
me’nthedogs / Foter / CC BY-NC

When it comes to agility training for dogs, the concept is always to start slow and simple and then proceed to fast and complex. You may wonder what agility training is all about, but when you finish reading this article you should have a better understanding about this form of dog obedience training. Agility training is a competitive dog sport found in many cities. It offers an opportunity for dog owners to spend more time with their pets in a constructive way. On one hand, the owner trains the dog to follow commands and make accurate maneuvers around obstacles; on the other hand, it is just one of the best ways for keeping a dog busy and healthy. Here is a detailed description of dog agility training and its importance.

1. Basic Requirements

The basic requirement for agility training is a dog that can follow instructions and has the strength to complete the assigned challenges. Based on this requirement, you can go ahead and agility-train your puppies, but because of the development stage, you will have to go gentle with them. They really need to understand the task ahead, more than they need the actual obstacles; therefore, only work with dogs that are at least a year old when you are using contact obstacles, jumps, and tunnels. For puppies, just concentrate on obedience challenges. In fact, this is the best time to teach them about rewards for good performance by using various treats and encouraging words as well as expressions when they perform a task satisfactorily.

2. What Does Agility Training Involve?

Remember, you get into agility training with your dog for a chance to win the coveted best dog trophy, but the real benefit of the sport comes from the time you spend bonding with your dog. It is the best moment of the friendship that you will have together, so take time to cherish it, and understand this: it’s okay for your dog to fail, just like it would be okay with you as a person. The important thing is to keep working on both you and your dog’s weaknesses as well as learning to recognize when your dog has reached its best. Doing this helps to prevent injuries to your dog.

Agility training is all about teaching the dog to jump through or over bars without touching them to get points. It is also about moving through or over contact obstacles and touching them with paws as instructed. The training will also involve stages where the dog goes over a balance beam structure and through tunnels that vary in length and diameter. Throughout the challenge, the dog responds to the commands of its handler and points are awarded for accuracy and speed. From this description it seems straightforward, but that is where the easy part ends.

3. Dealing with Different Dog Personalities

The hard part of dog agility training occurs when you have to deal with different dog personalities. One dog can be naturally timid, while another can be fearless. You should know your dog’s personality type, as this will help you handle him or her appropriately. Other than what shows from the general behavior of the dog and the reaction to instructions, there is also the hidden personality that determines how well a dog will cope. For example, he or she may be okay with every skill you teach at home or in your regular training area; however, as soon as you take him or her to a different location, you could find that your dog behaves in a very different way due to the change in environment.

Take time with your dog, understand the personality type, and introduce him or her to new handlers and locations just to make sure your agility training is transferable. In the end, dog agility training is all about training your dog to have the necessary strength, speed, and ability to follow instructions accurately. It is the ideal training for dogs needing to stay active to be happy, not forgetting that activity also keeps them fit.

If you find this approach to dog obedience training appealing, now is the time to sign up your beagle or any other type of dog for what could conveniently turn into the best pastime for the two of you. At the same time, you will be joining the millions of dog owners who want the best for their canine pets and a chance to win the lucrative dog agility-training trophy.

Here is an example of an impressive winning performance in dog agility: