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Training Your Dog for Agility Competitions

May 6, 2008
Possibly one of the most difficult and yet thoroughly rewarding dog show contests is dog agility competitions. With the event judged on speed and accuracy obstacles have to be overcome as quickly and efficiently as possible.

All dogs large and small compete in these competitions and their placement is based on the weight and height category. The placements of the obstacles are designed to be complicated because it is not only the dog that is judged but how well the handler leads the animal through it.

On race day the handler is given a map of the course to show where obstacles are laid out. The handler is responsible for studying the map and knowing exactly where obstacles like tunnels and jumps will be placed so the dog can be given the correct commands at the right time.

When it comes to starting out in dog agility training the handler can use a favourite treat to get the dog to work its way through the various obstacles. It is best to tackle one aspect of the training at a time and ensure each part is mastered before moving on.

The handler's position at the competition is to call the dog through the obstacles. The dog must be a good listener and be well behaved as there are quite a few distractions throughout the obstacle course. What with screaming fans and other dogs barking, one can't stress enough that the dog must be focused on you.

Whether the handler is the owner of the dog or the trainer, the handler must know what actually motivates the dog to get it to perform. There is no physical contact allowed during the exhibition as the handler runs with the dog through the obstacles and simply calls out the commands necessary to move the dog through them.

Dog agility training takes dedication from both owner and dog. Consistency is the name of the game but watching your dog achieve and work its way successfully through the course will be worth all the hours you put in.
About the Author
Before to plan to go into the thrilling challenge of dog agility training make sure to take a peek at these useful dog training tutorials.
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