Dog agility is a fantastic sport and hobby for dogs and their owners. It can be a very special bonding experience for both the dog and the trainer and a great exercise both mentally and physically.
What is dog agility?
To put it simply, dog agility is where the handler or the dog owner directs the dog in a series of obstacles, along a designated course, in a race against time, with as few mistakes as possible.
The owner or the handler must not touch the dog or the obstacles, and the dogs are not allowed to have toys or treats to help tempt them through the series of obstacles.
If you are looking for a local dog agility club, it's probably easiest to search the internet or use the Yellow Pages. Your veterinarian may also be able to suggest a local club or centre that is best for your dog. Dog agility is easy to get in to, and can suit a vast range of different breeds and sizes of dog.
Why is dog agility so popular?
There are many benefits of dog agility training, which is why it is fast becoming such a popular sport. For one, your dog will become entertained. Aside from entertainment, dog agility can make your dog stay alert. This will sharpen your dog's mind because he has to make and devise his own strategy on how to get through the obstacle.
Dog agility can help keep your pet healthy because it can get the much needed exercise. Since this is a competition against other dogs, there is some socialisation involved. Dog agility can have an overall great effect on your dog.
If you don't want to join a dog agility club or training centre straight away, you can begin things with a dog agility starter kit to start training your dog at home (depending on the size of your garden). Other equipment can be expensive but with a starter kit, you can train your dog with very little expense.
What is a dog agility starter kit?
The starter kits usually contain the following training materials:
- Weave poles
- Pause box
- Start and finish line
- Stop watch
- Award ribbons
- Game rules
Such a dog agility starter kit is sure to set you both off on the right foot!
With the starter kit set up, try to walk your dog through the first obstacle and slowly move on to the others. Let your dog check everything slowly, or even walk around the course to show your dog at his own pace.
Dog agility is great for dogs that have high energy. There are different breeds that are good at agility but basically any dog can be trained and any dog can enjoy agility. Both you and your dog must be relatively fit as it does involve some running, hopping and jumping!
Dog agility is a fantastic exercise for your dog. Start early and be patient with your dog and soon enough, you will have a superstar!
Be sure to come back soon for more information on dog agility! Or for more information, read our article on dog agility obstacles and equipment.