Agility training for dogs is a sport in which the dog is trained on how to overcome obstacles. The activities in agility training include weave poles, jumps, walks, tunnels, etc. These activities are chosen depending on the size and height of the dog. Training of this kind can help in improving communication between the dog and owner.  It will help get rid of the excess energy that your dog has and will train your dog to go around without a leash. 

If you are a beginner to this, the following are some tips on how you can agility train your dog:

Why agility train your dog?

Agility training is used to improve the communication between the owner and dog, removing barriers such as bad behavior. It will improve how your dog behaves.  Exercise will wear them out and they will get a good sleep. It also helps to build the trust between the two and you can leave your dog without a leash. It will help you build a better bond with them. 

Motivation for your dog:

What motivates your dog? Do they like treats or toys? Find out what keeps them motivated. Operant conditioning can be used to reward a dog every time they perform a task correctly. This is a positive reinforcement that will help encourage your dog to continue taking part in the training. Avoid punishing them as they will be discouraged.  They are new to this so let them take their time. Dogs who are rewarded more often tend to be more successful. 

Start with the basic training:

Start with the dog agility training steps for beginners. Ask them to start with jumps, running and fetching something. Teach them how to follow your actions and gestures. Try teaching them how to walk backward. You can also teach them how to become more aware of their body movements. Teach them how to balance themselves. Keep the training times short, like 5-10 minutes of training each day. You can also keep multiple short sessions during the day. Be sure to give them a break. The greater the flexibility, the better the skills! As you proceed with the training, try introducing them to new obstacles and tricks. But make sure that these obstacles are not very complex and tricky for your dog.

How can you become a better trainer?

Break down things in a manageable set of tasks. Trust your instincts. Jot down daily goals. Give them a treat and reward them more often, this will become a great source of motivation for them. Contact professionals and ask them questions. You can also join digital agility training classes for beginners.

Safety and health:

Before you start with the training, visit your vet and ask them if your dog is fit for agility training. Puppies are too young for agility training so make sure that your dog is 18 months or above. The training involves several jumps, twists, and turns which will put a lot of strain on your dog’s muscles and there is a chance of them getting injured. If the dog shows any signs of injuries be sure to contact the vet. 

Your dog is a beginner to dog agility training, be patient, and avoid punishing them a lot. Give them regular breaks in between training sessions. 

Equipment needed:

Many people provide agility training to their dogs at home. You don’t necessarily need to invest in professional equipment. You can create obstacles for training at home. Pipes, benches, and cardboards can also serve the purpose of training. In case you decide to invest in equipment, a few of the things that you will require will be an open tunnel, portable hurdles, and weave poles are some of the major equipment you will be needing for beginners’ training. Until your dog is fully confident, be sure to use easy to use, portable equipment so that any possible injuries can be avoided. 

Can your dog breed agility train?

The list of dog breeds that can agility train is not exhaustive. However, some dogs are quick learners and more intelligent than others. Some of these include the German shepherd, Labrador retriever, poodles, corgis, and the list goes on. Some dogs are not the best breed for training,  these are mostly lazy dogs that don’t prefer heavy exercises and would rather just take a regular walk in the park. 

A great way to work out:

Agility training is a perfect way to train your dog, but it is also a way of getting you into shape. When you are assisting and training your dog is running and getting through the obstacles you are in for a great workout yourself. It will not only improve your training skills but it will also help you become more patient. Dog agility training is a fun thing to do. Spending more time with your dog can also help reduce stress. 

Evaluate the progress:

Agility is a fun activity that will help you develop better training skills. But at the same time, you can evaluate how much improvements your dog has made. How quickly did he learn the skills? Is there room for further improvement? Remember that it is just for fun and some dogs need more time to learn than others. 

WHY IS DOG AGILITY TRAINING GOOD?

Agility training can be a fun based training activity that will help you bond with your dog better. This requires a lot of patience, the more patient you are the more rewarding the experience for the dogs. Sometimes dogs can become lazy and will need motivation to retain their interest. You can help them retain interest by treating them every once in a while. Once you train them and evaluate the progress you’ve made you can decide if you want to take part in competitions that take place worldwide. This can be fun for both, you and your dog. All dogs are different, what one dog might be comfortable doing the other might not be comfortable doing it. So, make sure that your dog is comfortable taking part in a competition or not.