Dog Agility Training: Bring Out the Athlete in Your Dog

Agility training for dogs is a sport that is quickly growing in popularity, and is a terrific outlet for your dog’s abundant energies. The agility training gets him into the best shape of his life, and also increases his mental sharpness through problem solving.

A dog that is well exercised and happy is much more likely to refrain from bad behaviors. Following so much activity, he will be more in a mood to kick back than to cause any problems.

Agility training isn’t for all breed. For instance, dogs descended from the working breeds such as Retrievers, Shepherds, Herding Breeds (collies, cattle dogs) Spaniels and Terriers are physically more suited for the agility training than very large breeds such as Great Danes, St. Bernards or a Mastiff. It’s all I can do to get a Bullmastiff I dog sit to even go for a brisk walk. The very large breeds tend to tire out too quickly and aren’t gifted by nature for this type of activity. If a breed of dogs is too small, it is also unable to meet the physical demands of agility training-for instance, they can’t make it over the jumps.

If your dog is very athletic and energetic and of the right size he may make a good candidate for agility training. Make sure you have already obedience trained your dog before trying to teach him the agility exercises. Be sure that you include dog training hand signals [] during your dog’s obedience training. That is because your dog will really need to listen and pay attention to your directions and hand signals to do the agility tricks required.

Besides knowing the basic sit, down, stay and heel commands, your dog will need to know when to turn right or left, go fast or slow by watching your hand signals. Therefore, pay attention to getting a good foundation with general obedience training first, before trying the agility training.

Wait until your dog has grown to full size prior to starting the agility training. A puppy won’t be ready for the obstacle courses until he has become full grown. Most dogs are ready at about 1 year of age, although some larger breeds are still growing a bit. Agility training exercises for older dogs, after about age 8, are not recommended-it is just too rigorous for them anymore.

Check out a Dog Agility Club in your area if you are interested in watching these dogs perform. It is really fun to see these dogs performing the obstacle course exercises. You have probably already seen an agility competition on TV, and have an idea of just how well trained these agility dogs are. The tricks these dogs learn through their agility training is really something to see. There are a variety of obstacles that the dogs must either go over, go through (tunnels) or go under, that require not only a physically gifted dog, but some terrific attention to training too.

If you watch an agility competition, it is clear that the dogs and their handlers are having a great time. Any dog enthusiast will really enjoy seeing the kinds of results that agility training for dogs produces. It is no wonder so many people are becoming interested in dog agility clubs.

Through the agility training exercises, your dog will learn how to do things like crawl through a tunnel, walk over a teeter-tooter, jump over hurdles, climb up and down a tall A-frame structure, and weave his way through a series of “weave poles”. All these obstacles together serve to test your dog’s conditioning and agility. Another good side benefit of the training will also be exercising you right along with your dog.

If the idea of agility training for your dog seems to fit his size and personality, you can check out an agility club and get started. Don’t be intimidated by how difficult the exercises look. You can progressively teach your dog his agility training step by step so the training is doable.

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