The Basics of Dog Agility Training

Developing your dog’s agility is a type of exercise the can benefit both you and your pet. It can also be a great activity that can help your dog behave, calm down as stay fit. But what really is dog agility training?

Basically, dog agility training involves a course of obstacles that your dog needs to finish according to a specific order. This type of task needs some time for training in order to accomplish. Nonetheless, getting through the course will be rewarding for you and your pet once you finish it. It also helps strengthen the bond of you and your pet dog as well.

However, getting involved in this type of sport can be quite overwhelming and intimidating at first. Don’t lose hope! Below are some of the basics of dog agility training if you are interested trying it out for you and your canine friend.

Getting Started

While most types of dogs can be familiarized with agility, make sure to check with a veterinarian if there are certain health issues that you need to be aware of. If your dog is young, you may need to wait about a year or so before it can start with agility training. This way, you can be sure that your dog is mature and strong enough to handle the physical activity related to it.

Basic Equipment

The following are some of the most basic items that are usually needed to start training:

  • Height bar – These are used for jumps, and you need a height bar that is stable. It is advisable to have a set of this so that you can gradually change the approach and difficulty of the exercise.
  • Chutes – Make sure you get a chute that cannot be easily ripped. Foldable ones can also provide easy storage.
  • Tunnels – Tunnels are longer compared to chutes, and you can buy types where you can easily adjust the length and curve for increased difficulty.
  • Weave poles – This type of equipment is the most challenging in terms of basic agility training. Make sure you get one that is sturdy so that it won’t easily fall over.

Tips for Beginners

It will be best to master one obstacle first before moving on to another. Practice each type of equipment separately with your pet dog, until they become skilled enough to handle it. Below are some tips:

  • For jumps, start with a low height for the bar first, and gradually increase its height. Allow your dog to become comfortable with the equipment first before increasing difficulty, and make sure that you praise them regularly as well.
  • Similar to jumps, chutes and tunnels will also follow the same principle. Make sure that you start off with a short length first before gradually increasing it. Try putting treats or rewards at the end of the tunnel or chute so that your dog can be motivated to go to the other end. For longer tunnels, also make sure that you encourage your dog at the other end to offer guidance for them. Reward them every time they achieve something.
  • Weave poles can be difficult, but you can use a leash to guide your dog slowly through them. Reward them after every time they achieve something as well.