How to get your dog started on dog agility training
What is a dog agility training?
Dog agility training is one of the most competitive types of activity for a dog. It consists of many fun-filled activities including jumps, walkways, weave poles, and tunnels to thrill your dog. Being a dog owner, you can become his/her agility trainer and guide your dog to handle the obstacles. During competitive agility events, handlers or owners attempt to navigate dogs through a course of activities as quickly and as accurately as they can.
To get your dog started on dog agility training, you need the following equipment that will help your dog to stay fit and active.
Using a bar jump is the best first equipment you should use to start with the dog agility training. Just lower the bar to the ground or few inches above the ground. Hold your dog’s rope and go along with your dog and let him/her pass through the bar. Chances are your dog might hesitate a bit in doing this. Just guide him/her slowly and gradually and do offer some treat. Once he/she masters in the jump, raise the bar a few inches more.
Initially make shorter tunnels for your dog to start with. The small and easy challenge will encourage your dog more to complete the task. Let your dog sit at one end and go to the other side and encourage your dog to come through the tunnel. On every successful task done by your dog, be ready to give some reward as a mode of encouragement. Once he masters the basic level, increase the length and shape of the tunnel gradually.
You can easily make weave poles by striking few skip or PVC poles. For easy navigation, keep enough space for your dog to pass easily. This activity is slightly tough and needs a lot of practice and training to excel. Initially, start with 5-6 poles and once your dog masters in it, gradually increase the number of poles. If your dog skips a pole, cut the treat and let him/her try again. This way he/she will understand that a mistake has been made and will try to work on it for the treat.
Assemble them in a sequence:
Once your dog has mastered in all of the above activities, it’s time to combine them together and perform them as a single task. Set all of them in a sequence and guide your dog to complete each of them in the same sequence. Don’t forget the treat, as it plays a crucial role in your dog’s training. Initially, provide a treat for each activity completion and on several consecutive completions, start providing the treat at the end of the complete task.
Remember, dog agility training is very important and has several benefits too. Apart from keeping your dog healthy and in shape, it keeps him/her both physically and mentally active and breaks the communication gap between a dog and its owner.
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