In 1979, Crufts Dog Show of England introduced a new dog sport named dog agility training. Originally patterned from equestrian jumping competitions, it is performed in an obstacle course through which the dogs races for time under the handler’s guidance.
Currently, the dog agility training is growing in popularity for the reason that of it provides many benefits- not to mention the fun brought by the competition. Te dog agility training also provides vigorous exercises for both the handler and the dog. Moreover, it encourages affirmative training techniques. Probably the most important benefit a trainer and his dog may obtain from dog agility training is the confidence and development of the trust level between the two which may be used as a therapeutic means for fearful and insecure dogs. see also : Dog Training: How To Stop The Chewing Problem
In general, the dog agility training course is composed of standard sets of equipments which vary in order and complexity. Equipments may include the selections of tunnels, a pause table, weave pools, seesaws, a variety of jumps, dog walk planks, a 3-meter A-frame and a number of contact obstacles. Skills like sitting, send-away, down stays and walking off-leash are incorporated in the dog agility training sport.
In competitions, the handlers and their dogs maneuver through a succession of obstacles. To determine the winner, the dog with the fastest time recorded and with the least mistakes made shall be made the victor.
The principle of the obstacle course is that the competitors are first determined by their height not considering the size and weight of the canine. They are then categorized and given the appropriate jumps. To eliminate the accidents, the bars of the jumps are removable or displaceable in case the dog miscalculates the height of his leaps.
Due to the rule that the dog must placed at least one foot over the jumps, yellow-painted contact zones are provided to ensure the dog’s balance as they run off or on the course. Moreover, all contact zones are designed to keep good traction for all kinds of weather.
A dog competitor must wear a webbed or leather buckle collar and leather, nylon or rope lead with considerable length is required. It is advisable that you do not use any chain lead as this may get caught o the planks and jumps.
The handler on the either hand will need comfortable shirt and a pair of running shoes, for dog agility training is not only an exercise for dogs. In a sense, it may serve as a powerful exercise for handlers as well.
For dogs, there are two sides of the dog agility training:
- The obstacles. Although many of the obstacles may seem high for most handlers, the A-frame is considered as the best obstacle to begin the training with. Also, the recommended obstacles for novice dogs are the walk planks, dog tunnels, and the low jumps.
- The control training. It is essential that your dog’s discipline is kept both on and off the course. Basic commands such as sit, heel, come, down and walk may prove valuable in dog agility training because from these basic commands, you may develop the dogs into performing the more advanced skills such as turning left or moving right and send-away or making the dog move ahead of you. Add to it the recall or the return command and the recall over the obstacles. see also : Dog Training – Collar Training