Basic Agility Training for Your Dogs
If you’ve never tried basic agility training, or as I like to call it, “play”, then you’re missing a lot of fun. Much like a combination obstacle course - play ground, agility work is comprised of multiple types of obstacles.
Many clubs have arisen due to the popularity of the sport and often times dog owners can take their pets to an agility club for a "trial run" before actually becoming a member. Many benefits are available as a result of basic agility dog training.
Not only does the dog get exercise (as well as yourself), but other benefits such as socialization skills from being around other people and animals.
The dog learns body awareness skills - such as, its back feet are independent of the front which many dogs seem to be unaware of. It acquires a new ability to accept challenges and stamina to follow through in new situations.
One of the most important things is that the dog learns to trust you as its leader. As a teacher you learn new ways to motivate your dog and new ways to get it to perform as you wish.
Basic agility training can begin at the puppy level. It is best to remember, however, the ability levels of the growing puppy and not to put it in any situation that may result in any type of problem for it in later years. Remember those growing bones and joints even if the enthusiasm is abundant.
Interested in trying agility with your own dog?
Here is a great little agility set to start with!
The most important factor in this type of "work" is enthusiasm and positive reinforcement. Why should the dog cross the high walk or go through that collapsed tunnel? It is your job to convince it that it is okay and that nothing will harm it by completing the obstacle.
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I recently have witnessed dogs that are so turned on the weave poles or collapsed tunnels
that they keep going through them again and again- much like a child riding a roller coaster over and over.
You can bet they probably weren't so excited their first few times. This is the training obstacle you must overcome with each new obstacle learned.
Motivational tools can be different for each dog - food, a favorite toy, or a hug from you. you know what gets your dog working. Use that to your advantage in new training procedures.
Many books are available on the subject of basic agility training. If you are interested in more information, contact local dog clubs and trainers who can put you in touch with the appropriate people.
Good luck and have fun agility training your own dog.
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