If you have noticed that your dog is quick on his feet and able to listen and obey your commands easily then you may want to upgrade your regular obedience training to agility training lessons. Agility training has become all the rage among dog owners as agility competitions have become hugely popular. In fact, agility competitions are now shown on television, and like any other sport these competitions have garnered quite a following among pet owners and animal lovers alike. However, agility training for dogs requires a commitment on a dog owner’s part since it takes more time and resources than regular obedience training.
Below is a guide on teaching your dog agility training and preparing them for competitions in the future.
- The key to successful agility training with your dog is first to establish a positive relationship. Agility training is not something that you want to jump into with your dog blindly. In fact, you should only begin agility training your dog once they are past the puppy stage and they have proven that they can follow all of the obedience commands that you have taught them. Agility training will be building on many of these basic commands so make sure your dog has a firm understanding of them before proceeding.
- Find a treat, either food or toy, that motivates your dog beyond the usual praise and attention you would use for his regular obedience training. Since your dog will be working hard during each agility training session you want to be sure that they are properly and highly motivated to continue their lessons. Additionally, be sure to lavish them with a lot of praise when they follow your commands. By combining treats, toys, and praise your dog should be highly excited to participate in each agility training session.
- Don’t forget to continue with basic obedience training alongside the agility training. A lot of the moves they will use while running an agility course will require that they understand basic commands such as “sit” and “stay.” Your dog should already know these commands before undertaking agility training, but don’t forget to revisit their obedience training regularly to make sure they don’t forget these most basic commands.
- You will need to have access to an agility course for your dog to practice on. Make sure the agility course you choose has plenty of obstacles and targets to best replicate what your dog will encounter during a competition. Most owners choose to find an agility course and trainer locally located. However, some owners who have the room to do so build their own agility course in their backyard. Choose whichever option makes the most sense to you and take full advantage of any local agility trainers and their knowledge when you are first starting out.
Training a dog to run an agility course is more difficult than the basic training most dog owners choose for their pets. However, agility training is also far more rewarding and most owners are just as excited as their pets when they take part in their first agility competition.