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How To Start In Dog Agility Training

a black,white, and tan border collie jumping through a blue, purple, and white hoop
Amber LaRock Author of How To Start In Dog Agility Training

If you have an active pup that has mastered their basic obedience training, you may be ready to take their training up a notch and explore agility training. Canine agility can be a wonderful way to give your dog a wonderful workout as well as enjoy the quality time together doing something unique.

In this article, we’ll dive into the basics of canine agility training and how to train your dog to understand the concept.

What is dog agility training?

Dog agility training is a wonderful way to get your dog active, mentally and physically. It’s the perfect way to tap into their fullest potential, and engage in a fun and unique activity that you and your dog can participate in together.

Agility course training not only gets your dog up and moving in a number of different ways, but also helps to build their confidence, decrease anxiety, give your pup a new task to focus on, and improves the relationship between you and your canine companion.

Dog shows have helped to open up the dog world to the benefits of agility training and how many options there are when it comes to training your dog in different areas of agility. There are multiple ways to get started in canine agility based on your interests, and so many ways to have fun with your furry friend.

How To Get Started

Now that you're ready to dive into the world of canine agility, you’ll need to gather some equipment. Some common props and tools that dog owners interested in canine agility training invest in include:

  • Weave poles: 6-12 poles placed in the ground for the dog to weave between. This is a standard agility course that’s often seen in dog shows.
  • Dog walk ramps: Two ramps with a flat top to walk on. This is another common course that’s often seen in dog shows and is easier for beginner pups to grasp.
  • Standard jumps:Hurdles made of simple PVC. This can be tweaked in distance and height based on how advanced your dog is.
  • Pause table: Blue-9 Klimb training table that is used as a pause station for your pup to stop and rest or soak in the glory of their performance.
  • Tunnel: Collapsable tunnel, often found in children’s stores. This is an impressive trick to master and can be tweaked using tunnels of different lengths based on your dog’s comfort with the skill.
  • Tire jumps: Bike tires are recommended for this, but you can truly use whichever tire you’d like as long as it fits your dog’s ability. Tire jumps are another impressive trick that is often seen in dog shows and can be tweaked based on how advanced your pup is and how high they can jump.
  • Teeter boards: Basically a see-saw that teeters from side to side as your dog walks along with it. These are often homemade in order to fit a dog's needs. This is considered one of the most challenging tracks for a dog to master, so it’s up to each owner to choose a teeterboard that fits your dog’s size best.

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Introducing Your Dog To Canine Agility

Once you have created your obstacle course, you are ready to introduce your dog to canine agility. First, make sure your dog fully understands the basic commands such as sit, lie down, stay, come, and any other commands you taught them during their basic obedience training. 

Once your dog understands their basic commands, you can begin to introduce them to the obstacles you created. It will take time for your pup to fully grasp each concept, so be ready to take this process slowly. Start by walking them slowly over the ramps, walking them through the tunnels, helping them weave through the poles, help them understand when to jump up on the pause tables and pause, and any other obstacle you set up for your pup. 

Once they begin to understand the areas of your obstacle course, you can begin to pick up the pace and help them learn how to do these tasks without assistance. If you are patient and dedicated to the process, your dog will be a pro in no time!

Benefits Of Agility Training

Like we mentioned above, agility training can have an incredible impact on our beloved companion’s lives. Some of the many benefits of agility training include:

  • It helps to get our dogs up and moving, which in turn improves heart health. An active pup is less likely to have struggled with obesity, joint conditions, and conditions that can affect the heart.
  • Since agility training can keep our dogs occupied with the task at hand, they are less likely to experience boredom and destructive behavior from that boredom. Frequent participation in agility training will also help to tire them out, reducing the chance of any undesirable behavior in your home.
  • Agility training can expand your dog’s knowledge and help them speed up their response time to commands. As they succeed in learning new tricks and obstacles, they are more likely to understand other tasks you throw their way.

Canine agility is the perfect way to enrich your dog’s life and improve the relationship that you have with your favorite pup. Make sure to review the tips and tricks that we listed above and your dog will be on the way to their future in agility!

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Meet The Author 

Amber LaRock

Amber is a Licensed Vet Tech with a degree in Veterinary Technology. Recently she has specialized in veterinary and animal-related content creation and social media management. When she is not working she loves spending time with her furry friends exploring the outdoors.

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