Agility training is a fun and competitive sport for your dog. The excitement of this obstacle course with tunnels, tire jumps, walkways, teeter totters, weave polls and pause tables gives your dog great exercise which keeps them very healthy. It is also a fun way to bond with your furry family member.
Fulfill your dog’s natural instincts as wild dogs who are natural hunters, running and chasing after different kinds of prey for their food. They navigate through many different barriers in a forest. They climb up steep slopes, squeeze through bushes and jump over fallen logs. The chance of ending up with a meal is their goal so they run fast. These types of natural scenarios are what agility courses are made to duplicate and to fulfill the chasing and hunting desires of your dog.
Your dog has excess energy and the agility course is a great way to release this energy. Your dog’s body and mind will be challenged as he runs, passing over and through many obstacles. The agility course will also increase endurance, strengthen muscles, improve coordination and keep your dog fit. Running alongside your dog as the handler and assisting him with weaving through poles, crawling out of collapsed tunnels and jumping high to finish the course quickly makes this work out a heart healthy, cardiovascular one.
The trust between you and your dog will be increased because your dog has to depend on your hand and verbal instructions to get through the course. This bond between you and your dog will improve the communication and reinforce basic obedience commands, as well as improving your dog’s behavior away from the agility course.
Agility courses are also beneficial as you can get in contact with other dog owners with your same interest in agility training. This sport allows you to meet many different people and observe the techniques they use when training their dog. In agility training, you become part of a group and share training techniques and invent different obstacle courses that would be more challenging to the dogs.
Although it is a competition, good sportsmanship is very important when you are competing with other dog owners. The thrill of the competition to see whose dog is the most efficient and quickest at completing the course provides a healthy environment to display good sportsmanship. If time allows, and you are able to fit more agility competition events into your schedule, you can travel to new destinations, meeting new people and participating in new and thrilling courses. The road trips and travel time you spend with your dog can be an exciting adventure for both of you and ultimately strengthen your bond.
The cardiovascular exercise your dog receives from participating in and practicing agility course training will benefit his health. It will also allow you to keep good track of his health records and stay in close contact with the veterinarian. Regular health check-ups with a licensed veterinarian will help prevent illness, disease and possible injuries. The veterinarian may discover a sore muscle, or cut or scrap that may become infected in the future. This will allow you to take care of the situation right away before it gets worse or causes more illness to your dog.
Regular exercise from participating in agility courses will also keep your dog in good mental shape. Your dog will be exercising his mind as much as his body. He will be listening to your commands, reading your hand gestures and listening for signals as he runs, jumps and darts through the courses. His mind will remain sharp and healthy. Photo credit: Pharaoh Hound/Wikimedia
Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.