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Agility Training - More Than Just A Sport

Jan 24, 2008
How would you like to have a lot of fun and at the same time bond with your dog? Dog agility is a way to do just that. Dog agility has been around for a long time but over the past ten years has grown in popularity. This is evident just by watching TV where they now broadcast some of the competitions.

You don't have to enter a competition though. There are many clubs around that you can become involved with and do it just for the fun of it. However once you get the bug you will probably want to enter some type of competition.

You can start training your puppy at a young age, but most clubs won't accept you until the dog is at least 8 months to a year old. Your dog should have some type of basic obedience training before starting into agility. When you and your dog are maneuvering through the course, your dog is off lead, so it would be a good idea that your dog will at least come when called.

This is a very high energy active sport. It is physically challenging for not only the dog but you as well. Dogs seem to really love it and why not. They are doing everything a dog loves to do - running, jumping, catching things etc.

The great thing about agility is that it is a team sport, the team being you and your dog. The courses that are set up can be complicated so the dog has to rely on you for guidance. Before you and your dog start the course, the handler is allowed to walk the course. This is a crucial step as the handler can see what is involved in the course and plan his/her strategy. You and your dog only have one chance to maneuver through the course. Your goal is to go through all the obstacles without upsetting any and doing this as fast as possible.

You and your dog can be penalized for knocking down obstacles and for not completing the course within a specified time. The judge who designed the course does a walk through and then using a predesigned formula calculates how much time it should take to complete the course. Smaller dogs are allotted more time to complete the course which levels the playing field so to speak.

This sport is for all types of dogs and all types of people. You can start your older dog in agility training but remember, because it is so physically challenging, to take it slow when starting out. Your dog and you have to work up to the physical challenges of this sport.

Most courses offered in agility training run for 6 weeks. After you and your dog have completed the intermediate level your dog will know the name of the obstacles and the signals you are giving him.

It is a great sport and one that your dog will absolute love. What better way to bond with your dog than doing the things he loves to do.
About the Author
Maureen Brownell has owned dobermans for the past 25 years. She understand that dogs can be a lot of work but they can also be a great source of joy. Dog training is a vital part of your dog's life. Go
Here for more training tips.
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