|An Australian Shepherd doing agility |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Above anything else, it is critical that you pay careful attention to the overall health of your dog. Before you begin with any types of agility regimen, it is crucial that the dog is fit to participate in such activity. That being said, it is highly advised that you consult the dog's veterinarian so he/she can provide you with a comprehensive physical and mental assessment of your dog. This is important so you can devise a training course that fits your dog's capabilities.
The way dogs respond to the training will vary greatly depending on their breed, size, personality, as well as their overall energy. For instance, smaller breed of dogs is more energetic than larger breeds of dogs, like Mastiffs or Great Danes. If you have a puppy, it is best to wait until it reaches at least 9 months old before you expose it to the training.
After preparing your dog for the agility training, you should now decide whether to enroll in agility classes or set up your own agility training course. There are various agility training clubs that provide extensive training programs for competing dogs. Most of the agility classes are geared towards teaching novice agility competitors. Seasoned handlers, on the other hand, prefer to build structured dog agility practice courses on their own. Since they have more experience, they are capable of training their dog independently. Typically, handlers decide to enroll in agility classes due to these reasons:
* To acquire proper training in a more appropriate environment that is away from all kinds of distractions
* To gain access to various types of agility equipment that are hard to build and require lots of space
* To seek guidance from trained and experienced handlers
* To expose themselves to enjoyable social venues that are normally provided by many dog agility training facilities
For those who decided to independently train their dogs, it is a must that you invest in useful and functional agility training equipment. You can either construct them from scratch or you can purchase pre-made ones. However, remember that a significant amount of money is needed to buy ready-made agility equipment. So, if you have a crunched budget, it will be more practical to design your own training equipment. You can research the net to find the official size and dimension of agility obstacles used in actual competitions.
To begin the agility training for dogs, you should introduce an appealing and comfortable training environment so that your dog will be at ease. Remember to always begin your training with basic commands, like sit, come, stay, and lie down. The dog being trained must appropriately respond to these commands to ascertain that it understands you.