What is agility training? | TeamDogs
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What is agility training?

How Agility training can have both health and behaviour benefits

TeamDogs

Posted 7 months ago ago

There is a category at dog shows called ‘agility’, which consists of a course of obstacles a dog must maneuver through in the quickest time possible. Agility training is, unsurprisingly, the training for this event - and can be quite a boon for a dog and its owner, providing both health and behavioural benefits.

The point of agility is to test the fitness of a dog and how successfully it can obey commands and this is achieved through the use of obstacles that it must make it around in the most efficient and obedient manner. Agility training requires an obstacle course so the dog can practice properly - and this can be done at home or a training centre. A lot of people use training centres because they have the space and equipment necessary, but if someone has enough space they can build an obstacle course at home.

Usually a dog will start with less intense or complex training, so that it does not get overwhelmed or injured. This means going through low jumps, walking at a slower pace, and starting with less complicated obstacles. Agility training can be a little difficult for dogs as it involves a lot of behaviour and control that they may not be used to - so it’s important to take it easy at first.

Once a dog does start getting into the swing of things, they can be trained in a variety of activities - including pole weaving, jumps, going through tunnels, and crossing a teeterboard. Eventually the dog is supposed to learn how to maneuver through the obstacles with speed and precision. 

Agility training also has benefits outside of the competitive arena. Getting a dog to obey a set of varied commands takes an extensive amount of thorough and patient training, but it’s also fun for the dog. That associated enjoyment will mean that at the end of training a dog is liable to be much better at obeying commands in general. In addition, being so active is a great way for them to expend energy - helping to avoid pent-up, unreleased energy and anxiety or restlessness. 

Agility training takes time and patience, and doesn’t always guarantee that a dog will come out of it a world-class competitor. Nonetheless, it’s a great way for a dog to have fun while learning a new skill and improving quality of life - which makes it worth a try for any adventurous pooch!

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