Agility training is a special kind of program for dogs in which they are taught to move through obstacle courses for exercise or for sport. Dogs and their owners can participate in training classes for simple fun, and some dogs may enjoy competing professionally in agility trials.
Many trials are held locally or even internationally to determine which dogs can complete these courses in the shortest amount of time while clearing each obstacle in a specific way. Tunnels, jumps, pause tables, weave poles, and teeter-totters are examples of some of these obstacles.
Almost any dog can participate in agility training and trials. Certain trials may require specific breeds as a rule, but there are also many agility trials for mixed-breed dogs, both large and small. Agility training is useful in helping dogs to focus, especially active and energetic dogs like a shepherd and terrier dogs. Training can also help dogs with anxiety and prevent destructive or negative behavior.
When dogs undergo agility training, they form a stronger bond with their owners or handlers and develop a very productive relationship. This is because dogs and their handlers learn a whole new language together. They learn to interpret new words, signals, and each other’s body language.
This kind of relationship is also highly rewarding because handlers and dogs enjoy spending time together. Many handlers find that their dog’s personality seems to “switch” when agility trials start, almost as if the dog knows that he needs to focus and get ready to go to work.