The Pros And Cons Of Dogs And Agility Training
Trying to get your furry friend prepared for agility competitions can be a wonderful way for you and your dog to not only get plenty of exercise, but to also enjoy some great bonding time. Typically, agility trained dogs are very sporty and hardworking. They are also very attentive because they pay close attention to verbal and non-verbal cues from their owners. This focus is important because communication is key in this type of sports training.
Dog agility competitions are great ways to keep you and your dog entertained. These types of competitions are also a wonderful way to keep both of you mentally and physically sharp. So, if you think that the breed of dog you have will not be able to handle this type of training, you are about to be surprised.
Dogs from every breed and size can easily excel at agility training and get through the competitions with ease.
Despite what many dog owners think, dog agility training is a relatively new sport. It was founded in England in the late 1970s, and the AKC held their first competition in the mid-1990s. Currently, this doggie sport has steadily increased with an annual rate of growth just below 10%. This means that if you are looking to get your dog involved in agility competitions, now is the time to begin training.
How To Begin The Training Process
As previously stated, communication between human and canine is critical in this sport. While training, your dog will quickly come to realize that they should listen to you, and they will eventually begin to obey your commands so they will make you proud of them and also impress you with their obedience.
With that said, there are several things that you must be aware of before starting agility training with your dog so you can decide whether this is an activity that the two of you should pursue or not. There are many fact-filled resources online that you can read that will provide you with plenty of information about agility training.
However, even with all of the resources available to dog owners, there are still some important questions that you should know the answers to before your dog’s training begins. Some of the questions are:
- How should you begin?
- Where should you begin training your dog?
- Are there any potential injuries or health risks associated with the sport you should be aware of?
All of these questions are crucial and you should research for the answers first. Hunting down dog agility equipment might seem like it should be next, but there are still some other factors that need considered.
Why Should Your Dog Compete In Agility Competitions?
The main benefit to agility training for your pet is that it can help eliminate behavioral issues that may be occurring due to depression, boredom, apathy or other mental health disorders. However, when dogs feel as though they have a purpose, they place all of their focus on the task in front of them.
Studies have shown that mental stimulation, combined with physical exercise is beneficial to a dog’s overall health and well-being. Your dog will have to be able to think and respond quickly to demands, this is the perfect sport to channel your dog’s energy and keep his focused, stimulated and interested.
Your dog is not the only one who will be getting a lot of exercise. This is a sport that is physically demanding for both the canine and the handler. Even though you will not be performing the actual tasks, you will have to keep up with your dog along the course.
You will need to make sure that both of you are healthy to compete. Schedule an appointment with your physician, and also schedule a vet appointment for your pooch. A complete physical will reveal whether your dog has any structural issues that may be exacerbated by rigorous physical activity. If your dog is diagnosed with joint problems, you may want to reconsider agility training.
Dog Agility Training Risks
Just like any other type of physical activity or sport, there are risks associated with agility training. In fact, the more you and your dog practice, the higher the chance one or both of you will become injured.
Several studies have been released that have shown that there are certain obstacles and agility tricks are riskier for certain dogs than other breeds. Fortunately, many injuries can be prevented once dog owners understand the risks and place the necessary prevention in place, you can reduce these risks for your pet.
When you are considering the results of the above-mentioned studies, along with other experts, it is not very surprising that there is a risk of injuries in this sport. However, by being properly educated on these risks, you will make the best decision for you and your dog. Never jeopardize your dog’s health just to win a competition.