Are you interested in dog agility training but unsure of where to begin? Most believe you need special equipment to begin dog agility training; this is not the case. You can begin dog agility training in your back yard with some simple materials. Most of the materials can be purchased from your local hardware store. What items are generally needed for dog agility training? Let’s take a look.
In a professional dog agility training course there are weaves, jumps, the dogwalk, tunnels, tire jumps, the pause table and a teeter board. So, how do you create this sophisticated track using every day materials? Take a look at the list below:
- Weave poles- Ski poles
- Jumps- Cinderblocks
- Dogwalk- Picnic bench
- Tunnels- Collapsible children’s tunnel
- Tire jumps- Bike tire
- Pause table- coffee table
- Teeter board- Wood and PVC pipe
As you can see from the list above, each item on the agility track can be replaced with an item which you may even have lying around at your home! If you are do not want to build an agility course using every day materials, several pet stores sell relatively inexpensive beginner courses. While you are beginning, it is not necessary to spend a large sum of money on equipment as you may find you and/or your dog may not be prepared for this type of training. As you move throughout your training, you may then decide to purchase more expensive training materials.
Prior to beginning agility training, you must be certain you know your dog completely. You must be fully comfortable with your canine companion prior to beginning this type of training in every aspect. For example, this sport is hard on your dog’s joints so check with a veterinarian to ensure your dog is in good health prior to beginning agility training. In addition to ensuring your dog is healthy and able to begin agility training, you must be certain you are in good health as well as agility training is also hard on the handler. The handler is often running along with the dog throughout the training period.
You should be aware research shows one in every three dogs experience some type of injury throughout agility competitions with the most common injuries being sprains and contusions. You should be prepared for visits to the veterinarian if necessary. This also means understanding if your dog is injured, he or she may no longer be able to compete in agility competitions following the injury.
In addition to ensuring good health for your dog and yourself, ensure your canine companion is comfortable around other dogs and people. Canine agility is a social sport where your dog with encounter many new people and pets. Once your dog begins competing, he or she will no longer be on a leash so your dog must possess extreme self-control as well. Does your dog know the basic commands; sit, stay, come? If not, that is where you should start. Obedience training and agility training go hand-in-hand.
Agility training in dogs requires a significant amount of dedication. You must establish a strong bond with your dog prior to this training and maintain the bond. Spending a significant amount of time doing activities other than only agility training will assist in strengthening the bond between pet and pet parent.
Agility training your dog does provide you and your canine companion with a number of benefits. For example, agility training has been found to solve behavior problems as when you are training your dog, you are providing him with a good amount of exercise. This relaxes his body and mind. Boredom is often the cause of the majority of behavioral issues. Agility training also strengthens the bond between you and your dog as you are often spending a large amount of time with him.
If you are having a difficult time beginning agility training, seeking advice from more experienced agility competitors may help you. Experienced agility competitors have experienced difficulties along the road to success and often have methods they can share with you to improve your experience in the field. To view upcoming events, visit the American Kennel Club webpage.