Looking for a fun way for you and your dog to be more active together? Well then, agility training might just be the answer! Agility is a great sport that has a huge following for a reason, and can be a wonderful bonding experience as well as way for your furry friend to keep fit.
What is Agility Training?
Agility is when dogs complete a course of 12-18 obstacles in a specific order as fast as possible. This includes dashing through tunnels, jumping hurdles, performing tricks, and more. Courses are complex enough that dogs cannot complete them with guidance from their handler, meaning the owner’s handling techniques are just as important as the dog’s obedience skills – it really is a team effort!
Based on horse jumping competitions, agility training is designed to show off a dogs’ natural speed. The sport grew in popularity after it became a half-time show at Crufts in the late 70s, and the idea was meant to be simple enough that any dog or owner with an interest could take part.
Still, some breeds of dog are better built for agility training, such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Jack Russells, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis. This is because dogs with a medium build tend to perform especially well, as do animals from a working background or who are naturally full of energy.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean other dogs can’t join the fun. Personality is a very important factor when it comes to triumphing at agility training. If your pet wants to please you, then they’ll do their best to succeed!
What are the Benefits?
Agility training is an excellent way to bring you and your dog closer. You might already have a good relationship with your pet, but agility training can help make your connection even stronger.
As the courses are too complicated for a dog to complete on their own, a common language needs to develop between a dog and its owner that relies solely on movement and vocal ques. Not to mention you’ll have to work together to develop strategies that play to your furry friend’s strengths and hide their weaknesses.
Besides firming up the relationship between you and Fido, there are other benefits to agility training. Does your dog have too much energy? Agility training will help to tire both their body and mind. It’s for this reason that agility training can also help with behavioural problems, as the main cause for said issues is usually boredom. If you give their brain as work out as well as their body, they’ll be a lot more chilled, and your furniture will be safer from doggy-related damage too.
It’ll also test how reliable your pet is once they’re off the lead and teaches your dog to respect you. After all, if they enjoy doing what you tell them at the agility track, they’ll be more likely to listen to you at home too. And if you’re planning on bringing more furbabies into your home, you’ll already be a better dog trainer.
Finally, it’s just a really cool hobby you can rattle off at dinner parties or for when you need to make small talk. We bet most people would rather spend time watching videos of your dog mastering an agility track than talking about the weather.