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The Secrets Of Training A Dog For Agility

May 20, 2008
Intro & History Dog agility training began as a sport in the UK in the 1970s, and involves successful completion of an obstacle course. It's a great way to develop a strong bond between pet and owner; it can also help build confidence in timid dogs (and owners). It's also a great form of exercise as it uses not just the dog's physicality, but the intelligence as well. The human partner may find that their fitness improves as they are required to do as much work as the dog. Whilst agility training can be done to allow participation in competition, there's no rule to say it's not just for a fun time with your dog.

Type of suitable dog In the serious, competitive sport, the breeds of dog that excel at agility tend to be those that are generally classed as intelligent, such as Border Collies and Labradors. However, as long as your mutt is fit, healthy and has enough brain cells to cope the basic obedience commands, there is no reason why he or she can't succeed in agility, even if it's just for fun. It's even suitable for puppies a young as 8 months. Some of the obstacles can be strenuous on the joints, so training any earlier than 8 months is not recommended.

Equipment What is required to begin training is a basic set of equipment: a tunnel; cones for weaving through; something to jump over; an "A" frame; and a table to pause on. This may seem daunting and expensive, but you may fine a club that you can join or a class in your area. However, as training for agility is a gradual process you may find that you can start slowly with one piece of equipment and build up the course gradually. Initially a lead and collar will be necessary until your dog is familiar with everything.

Procedure Don't expect Fido to be brilliant after the first few goes, for a start he or she may not understand what is expected of him. If Fido is by nature timid the course may be a little scary for him. Set -up the obstacles and let Fido become familiar with them before beginning the training. Start slowly with one obstacle and some very low jumps, which you may have to complete with Fido until gets the idea. Encouragement is the key: your dog will respond and learn more quickly he or she thinks they're doing the right thing: lots of praise and treats when Fido does it right. Never punish: bonding with your dog is supposed to be a fun activity!

You are certainly not on your own when it comes to training your dog, be it for agility or for anything else. There is a wealth of information available to help you with pretty much any doggy crisis, be it dealing with toilet matters, incessant barking or just jumping and biting, there is a great deal that you can do to help yourself.
About the Author
Some of the main lessons for training a dog for agility, as well as a discovering the real secrets to training a dog . Learn how to deal with excessive barking, biting or jumping, without scolding or hitting your dog.
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