Nothing can deny that agility training is the best exercise for your pup. Dog agility happens to be a common sport in the canine world whereby the handler or parent teaches the puppy to pass through various obstacles such as the ones listed in the following:
- jump tire
- weave poles
- standard jumps
- pause table
Regarding competitive events, the handlers navigate the dogs through various courses quickly and accurately. Usually, the dog who completes these courses in the fastest time is usually declared the competition winner. Often, we think agility training is for dogs taking part in competitions.
However, this whole idea is wrong. Agility training benefits dogs of all sizes, ages, and breeds, with a few exceptions. So, please read below to find out the advantages you can get from agility training.
Agility training for dogs satisfies their instincts
There are many reasons why agility training is considered crucial for dogs. The first is that such training schedules satiate their instincts. Dogs are hunters by nature. They love running after and chasing various kinds of prey that could be different from each other. Out in the wild, they may hunt rabbits and foxes.
While doing so, they pass through various obstacles on the forest floor. They naturally jump over fallen logs, climb steep slopes, and squeeze through vegetation such as bushes. Their end aim is to find their prey and eat it.
So, the faster they can hunt, the better their chances of finding a decent meal at the end of the day. The agility courses aim to harness these particular traits in dogs and fulfill their instincts of chasing and hunting prey.
Agility training is the best form of exercise
Most pet parents find it rather hard to fulfill the energy requirements of their dogs. At times, if you walk them for even three hours, it would not be enough for them. It is why agility exercises can be so helpful. Training would help your dog spend the extra energy that they have. When your baby runs through many obstacles and courses, the physical energy gets drained.
At the same time, the workouts would offer them sufficient mental stimulation to challenge their minds. Such training can help their muscles build stronger and ensure they remain fit. It will make them more coordinated and improve their endurance levels too. So, this is how these courses help them stay fitter overall.
Since you would be training and handling your baby, you would run with them all the time. You have been encouraging your dog and offering them treats all this while. So, there are chances that it may get complicated when they are out of shape, and you end up engaging them in such physical activities every day.
Remember to use verbal and hand instructions to ensure your dog understands all your commands. Then, when you help them complete the agility course, it will allow them to train themselves again in following the basic obedience commands.
It would improve the communication you have with your dog and vice versa. The most important benefit, in this case, is improving your pup’s behavior at home and everywhere else.
Agility training teaches them to be patient
As we have said, agility training would teach your dog to follow commands. They must follow a definite route and go through specific obstacles daily. When performing agility training with your dog, they are totally in tune with you.
At a basic level, it improves the concentration and focus of your dog. Apart from that, it also helps your dog read your body language a lot better. So this helps them communicate a lot better with them without using words.
What is the right age to start agility training for dogs?
You should never begin such training before your dog is 12 months old. Your pup’s body is still in the developmental stage in the first year of their lives. So, never let them get hurt at this stage of their lives. So, you can start such training when your pup is a year older or more.
Before the first year, you can start some activities such as pre-agility training. The training implies simple mental exercises and obedience training. These tasks would help them prepare for the next stage when the actual agility training begins. It is essential to visit your vet once before starting such training.
When dogs are pups, they have plenty of energy and are immensely playful. However, they may not be ready for hiking, running, and agility training. You can always get them to perform simple exercises such as bow, shake hands, sit, and roll over, to name a few.
What is pre-agility training for puppies?
As we have said, such training would prepare your pup to start agility training when they become a dog. It is flatwork we are talking about over here, one that does not put much pressure on the bones and joints of your puppy.
So, first, teach them various tricks, such as hand targeting to shadow handling. Then, you can introduce them to the obstacles they face in agility training when they grow up.
Best Dog Agility Equipment
These are the most common obstacles in dog agility. They can be set at different heights and distances, and there are different types of jumps, including hurdle jumps, tire jumps, and panel jumps.
Tunnels are another popular agility obstacle. Dogs run through them as quickly as possible, coming in different shapes and sizes.
Weave poles are a series of upright poles that dogs weave through. These can be challenging to learn but are important skills for agility.
A teeter-totter is a balance board that dogs walk across. The board pivots in the middle, making it a challenging obstacle.
This is a raised platform that dogs must jump onto and sit or lie on for a designated time.
An A-frame is a ramp that dogs climb up and descend down the other side.
A dog walk is a narrow plank that is elevated off the ground. Dogs run up one end, cross the plank, and run down the other end.
Agility training is a fun and engaging activity that provides numerous benefits for dogs and their owners. It’s an excellent way to keep your dog physically and mentally fit while having fun and building a stronger bond with your furry friend.