Dog Agility Training
Did you know that dog agility training can be fun? Without agility, the most muscular person in the world couldn't win a fight against a fifth-grader. But did you know that for a dog or puppy, agility is possibly even more important?
With so many of a dog's happiest moments spent running, jumping, catching, and stretching, agility training for a dog can really help dogs age gracefully and happily.
So what is agility training for dogs in the first place?
You've probably seen dog agility training on television. The dogs run a course of tire hoops, tunnels, seesaw, dog walk plank, jumps, hurdles, Weave Poles, and a 3-meter A-frame. They do heeling, sitting, down stays, send-aways as well as walking off leash are also included.
Who can participate?
Anyone with a dog can do agility training. There is not an age limit for people or dogs. In fact, children and puppies are encouraged to take part. All breeds and sizes of dogs without a physical disability can benefit from agility training. Be sure to check with your vet before you begin agility training if you have any doubts about your canine's fitness.
What equipment is needed in dog agility training?
You as the handler will need comfortable shoes and clothes that you can run in, because this is not exercise for the dog alone. Your dog needs a leather or webbed buckle collar and a leather, nylon or rope lead of fairly long length. Do not use a chain lead; it could get caught in the jumps.
Agility Training Courses for Dogs
There are two sides of agility training for dogs. They are the obstacles and also the control training. Although it seems high to many handlers, the A-frame is one of the best obstacles to begin training with. The dog walk plank, low jump and the tunnel (dogs love this obstacle) are also excellent for training the novice dog.
Control training is important to keep your dog disciplined both on the agility course and off. Everybody knows that a dog must heel and sit. You must also teach your dog to know and obey different commands: to go left and right, lay down, and wait. After those are mastered, the dog must learn normal recall (returning anytime you call) and recall over obstacles. Also important is the "send away" command, making the dog go ahead you.
So, if you've decided to try agility with your dog, please remember first and foremost that you both should have fun. Keep your mood light, your training fun and you and your dog will both be well on your way to having a great time together, maybe loosing a little weight, and who knows, maybe even winning a few agility dog titles. After all, dog agility training should be fun!
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