The great thing about agility training is that there are so many benefits for both owner and dog and best of all, any dog can learn it and excel at it!
Agility training is a form of canine sport where the handler uses only hand and voice signals to direct their dog through obstacles. A quick pace and accuracy are the aims of the sport and competitions can be highly competitive.
And while near enough any dog can enter these competitions, this isn’t the only motivation as to why your dog should learn these skills. In fact, entering competitions shouldn’t be the main reason why a dog takes up agility sports because these are activities that can be taught, practiced and enjoyed at home. Yes, at home! You and your dog can become agility superstars of your backyard – or even your neighbourhood!
There are so many benefits to agility training you’ll be hard pressed to come up with a reason not to learn. Here are ten now:
1. A great way for dog and owner to bond. Agility courses cannot be done without both dog and owner working together.
2. Builds trust between dog and owner.
3. A way for your dog to use their natural hunting and chasing instincts.
4. Helps to get rid of excess energy.
5. A great form of exercise for your dog; it strengthens muscles, improves coordination and increases stamina and endurance.
6. Improves unruly behaviour.
7. Improves confidence.
8. Improves obedience.
9. Sharpens your dog’s mind.
10. Improves communication skills.
And there are benefits for you too:
- It also keeps you in shape, providing a great cardio workout.
- Improves your flexibility.
- Increases your perseverance.
Plus, agility is just plain fun!
Things to consider:
- Before you start learning agility with your dog, have them checked over by your vet to make sure they are physically capable and are not secretly suffering from any conditions that could be further impacted from such physical activity. If your breed of dog is prone to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and eye impairments, special attention should be given.
- How is your dog’s mental health? Agility training is a great way to build confidence, however if your dog is quite shy and nervous already it may not be a great idea to get them into agility.
- Dogs under eighteen months of age should be checked over to make sure they have finished growing before starting any agility training to avoid any chronic injuries.
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