Dog Agility Training

If you are crazy about dog sports, then you have probably heard of dog agility training before. You know, for instance, that it mainly consists of training your dog to go through all sorts of obstacles at the shortest amount of time. But do you know how challenging dog agility training is? Or how addictive? No? Well then, read on.

What Is Dog Agility Training?

You were right on the bat with your idea of agility training for dog. It does involve obstacles, which your dog has to go through, in which case, you can liken it to equine show jumping, only instead of a horse and its rider, it is your dog and you (the handler) maneuvering the course.

The entire course can contain up to 20 obstacles, including tire hoops, seesaw, jumps, tunnels, hurdles, dog walk plank, a 3 meter A-frame, and weaving poles. And your dog will have to go through each one of these obstacles while working against the clock.

The course, often designed by the judge of the agility competition, is complicated enough so a dog won’t be able to maneuver it on its own. That’s where the handler (you) comes in.

The handler is not allowed to touch the dog during the duration of the sport. As a matter of fact, the dog will be maneuvering the entire course, off-leash and with nothing but your voice and signals to guide it through each obstacle.

Challenges And Rewards

Now that you have a clearer idea of what agility dog training is you have probably come to the conclusion that the entire task of training your dog to overcome course obstacles is very challenging.

Indeed, it is a task that not anyone can do, but that’s just more motive for you to try it! If not for the challenge, then do it for the reward: a happy and confident dog that is agile and well-exercised.

Agility training for dogs is also a good aid for developing a closer relationship between dog owner and dog. Finishing a particular difficult course gives your dog a good boost of confidence and give you, its handler, a feeling of satisfaction.

As far as the challenge in dog agility training is concerned, there are tools and dog agility training equipment that help make the job easier for you.

What Do You Need?

Well, first you need a dog. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to have a collie in order to win a place in a dog agility competition. However, you do need a dog that is active and well-suited for rigorous physical activities. Also, your dog has to be trained in at least basic commands in control, such as recall, sit, down, wait, and attention.

Once you have that taken care of, time for you to look through the dog stuff you will need. The most basic tools you’ll need in dog agility training are a collar and a leash.

The collar should be either leather or webbed buckle. Anything that is flat and comfortable to wear should be alright. Make sure that it fits properly, not too tight nor too loose.

As for the leash, a rope of fairly long length is what you need. Alternatively, you can also use leather or nylon leash, depending on your own preference. Just make sure that it is long enough to allow the dog to make the jumps and the rest of the course obstacles without getting snagged or caught on anything. On that note, avoid chain lead like the plague. Leashes made of chain lead get easily caught on something.

There are many dog agility training courses that you can take. But remember that they will probably require that you have finished basic training courses before letting you enroll.

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