Have you considered Canine Agility Training – your dog? I did at one time, but never did follow through with it. Sorry I did not because I believe it would have done my little guy a lot of good both for exercise and for building up his confidence.
It is a good idea to check with your Vet at the start. Is your pet in condition health wise to go into agility training?
Bond Building with Agility Training
Further, agility training is a wonderful way to build a bond with your dog. In agility courses you have to lead your dog through the obstacles. So he has to depend on you for those directions. You start by training your fur pal to take directions from both your left and right sides rather than in front of you as your pet would usually be, i.e., to shake hands or use the ‘sit’ command.
Backyard Agility Courses
You can start in your backyard and actually buy the obstacles for the course online…there are 14 to 20 obstacles in an agility course on average. Starting by making your own make shift obstacles out of cardboard boxes, and other readily available materials for agility training with your dog is another option. There are also classes to take with your doggo. In addition, you can become a volunteer at agility competitions to observe how the trainers work the course with their dogs. The AKC actually has a National Agility Championship competition.
You, of course, can choose to just have fun with it and keep it to your backyard and take some classes. Or you might get to the point where you want to join in competitions locally. The article says that all sizes of dogs participate and pretty much all ages, just depending on their athleticism. For smaller dogs the height of obstacles is lower than for, say, a German Shepherd, and sometimes for older dogs as well.
Local Agility Training Classes & Clubs
They suggest finding local agility training classes and clubs to start. And with training you might begin by teaching your dog to sit beside you. Another tip is to start slowly and keep building momentum.
I found a few agility training businesses near me just by Googling “agility training near me”. Also I located an agility club that puts on four AKC trials every year not far from me. It sounds like a great activity to me if you can make the time for it.
Basic Agility Course Equipment
“An agility course is made up of a series of obstacles, usually 14-20 depending on the class and level of competition. The big ramp-style obstacles are collectively known as the contact obstacles because they all have “contact zones” (usually painted a bright yellow) that the dog must touch with at least one toenail when descending. The following list explains the basic agility equipment you will find in the ring.”
- “Jumps are made of a bar between two stands. The dog must leap over the bar without knocking it down.
- Tire jumps are donut-shaped rings suspended in the air. The height of the tire is based on the height of the dog, and he must jump cleanly through the opening.
- Open tunnels are long canvas tubes. They can be either straight or curved, and the dog must enter at one end and exit at the other.
- Weave Poles are a series of six to 12 upright poles spaced out along a straight line. The dog must enter to the right of the first pole and weave through the others without missing a pole.
- Seesaws or teeters are shaped like a teeter-totter at the playground. The dog must run up the side touching the ground then ride the seesaw down the other side as it pivots with his momentum.
- Dog walks have an up ramp at one end, a flat elevated middle section, and a down ramp at the other end.
- A-frames are made of two broad ramps hinged together into a peak. The dog must scale the up side, scramble over the top, and descend to the contact zone. ”
If this is something you think would be a good fit for you and your best dog friend, go for it. The AKC has an entry level test for beginners to check out your skills which you might consider taking. It is called ACT – Agility Course Test.
Take a look at “Know your Furry Friend’s Body Language“.
And see some interesting facts in “Curious Facts about Cats and Dogs“.
Funny Animal Videos
The first is apropos for our agility courses from Big Geek Daddy: https://biggeekdad.com/2022/07/mission-impossible-dog-monkey/ –
The next is about a motorcycling dog: https://biggeekdad.com/2020/05/sox-the-motorcycle-dog/ –
And, the last is just plain fun: https://biggeekdad.com/2015/07/mission-impossible-squirrel/.
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