When most think of dog agility training, they think of the huge competitions, like the one seen annually at Crufts. It can seem like a massive thing, reserved only for expert dog trainers and their seemingly impeccable pooches.
But it isn’t that way at all! In fact, agility training has plenty of benefits for many of the everyday family dogs out there.
In this short guide to dog agility training for beginners, I want to take you through what agility training is, how it can be such a great thing, and some tips on getting started.
Let’s see if agility training might be a good fit for your dog!
What is Dog Agility?
The practice of dog agility is a sport where the dog runs through a course, clearing various obstacles. They are guided around the course by their handler, which in this case would be you!
There are a bunch of obstacles that are commonly used; such as tunnels, balance beams, and wobble boards. However, there are no hard and fast rules about what obstacles need to be present for those approaching the sport casually.
The goal in a trial setting is to clear it as fast as you can while ideally making no mistakes, but the goal also can be to get your pooch active and having fun. Which is just as valid a goal!
So, what actually are the benefits of performing this sport? Why should you bother?
What Are the Benefits of Agility Training?
Agility training is a brilliant source of both exercise and mental stimulation; all in one package!
You’re getting your dog moving, and at the same time, constantly teaching and training them. They have to use their brains to clear the obstacles, and having yourself there to lead the way helps strengthen the bond between you and further their obedience training!
If you have an energetic and intelligent dog breed, agility training can be a fantastic way of enriching their lives.
It’s not an activity that is a good fit for every dog however; dogs that are still growing and developing should avoid it, along with older dogs and those with health issues. Consider whether this activity may be appropriate for your dog before trying it out.
So How Do I Get Started?
First things first; you’ll need some access to some equipment for dog agility training!
There are various ways of going about this depending on your situation; some choose to find local trainers who provide agility training and equipment, while others prefer a more DIY approach by creating a dog agility course at home.
If you’re thinking of finding a local trainer for your agility training needs and you are within the Ilkley area, you can do no better than Dedicated to Dogs! Be sure to check them out!
On the other hand, if you want to create your very own course, I’d recommend taking a look at this great article for how you can make one from stuff commonly found around the house!
Agility training can be a great way of helping those busy breeds have something to focus that almost limitless energy on.
If you’d like the basics of how to get started agility training, I’d recommend having a read through of this fantastic article.
Finally, keep in mind that agility training isn’t exclusively for those looking to win competitions. By approaching it casually, your dog and you can have a fantastic time!
It can be a big form of enrichment for energetic breeds. If you think agility training isn’t for your doggo, or you’re looking for even more ways to keep your dog mentally active, check out Rach’s guide to enrichment for some amazing tips!
And I also need to mention that many of the treats we offer can work as a desirable and healthy training aid which can work wonders during agility training! See what we recommend here.
Do you take your train your dog in agility? Do you have any tips to give to newcomers? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Ryan is a freelance content writer who specialises in pets and animals. He works closely with various pet sites to educate people on everything there is to know about our cute furry companions. When he isn’t writing professionally, he is usually watching cat videos and trying not to adopt every Pomeranian he sees! His portfolio can be found here.