Agility training in dogs is a type of sport where a dog moves through an obstacle course under a time limit. In a typical agility training course, there are 14 to 20 different kinds of obstacles that a contender has to complete. The best dog will be the one that completes the course, without any mistakes, at the soonest possible time.
The American Kennel Club says that agility is one of the most popular dog sports as it does not just help dogs but it helps their owners too. Agility training also fosters a great relationship between the dog and its owner.
What Is Agility Training?
The AKC also describes the many components of dog agility sport. A typical course will have tunnels, tire jumps, weave poles, pause tables, and seesaws. A dog will be given a chance to go through the course but it has to rely only on the body language and the specific cues that his owner provides. In agility training, all dog breeds can join in. From the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane.
How Will Agility Training Help Dogs?
There are many benefits of agility training. If you are looking for a sport that will benefit your pet in more ways than one, agility training could be the answer.
Running Is A Great Form Of Exercise
There’s no doubt that running is a good form of exercise for dogs as it also helps improve overall health in people. Running improves blood flow throughout the body and boosts heart health. Dogs can help prevent obesity or can lose weight through running.
Running Builds Bone And Muscle Strength
Running will improve overall health and enhances muscle strength and the formation of strong bones. Like humans, dogs that don’t get enough exercise waste muscle tissues while older dogs may develop brittle bones. Running will prevent bone and muscle wasting.
Training Improves Concentration
Agility training will develop a dog’s concentration as he learns how to follow his owner’s cues very closely. He needs to do this even when there is a lot of noise and disruptions around. In a typical agility competition, the surroundings are very noisy with spectators and other dogs around. A competitor dog should be able to maintain pure concentration and trust his owner to complete an agility course.
Training Enhances Trust
A dog learns to trust his owner more as he follows him closely throughout the agility course. Therefore, an owner has to train his dog to follow his commands to the T while considering contest rules and the safety of his pet.
Training Keeps A Dog Calm
Agility training helps a dog stay calm. Despite bursting through the agility course area in lighting speed, this sport helps a dog remain steady, calm, and concentrated. He has to remain calm despite a lot of noise and distractions in the contest area. A calm dog only sees his owner and will never stray from the tasks he has to do.
Training Helps Reduce Pent Up/Excess Energy
Dogs are bursting with energy and they need to run, jump, and play to reduce this pent-up energy at the end of the day. Ever wonder why your dog suddenly starts chasing its tail or running at anything it catches? This is how they remove excess energy. Agility training can help your pet ease pent up energy and keep him healthy and well-disciplined as well.
You can start training your dog using simple equipment you may have at home. You can use hoops, ramps, seesaws, poles, and low tables. It’s important to help your dog learn how to take cues and simple commands for agility exercises to become very successful.
What happens if your dog is no longer able to jump up and down obstacles?
It happens to even the most athletic, invincible pets: they get old. Their joints degenerate, aging bones start hurting and knees get woobly and may even … (gasp)… collapse! Yes, even those furry blurs who dominated the agility circuit, or the fluffballs who used to do the fastest zoomies in the dog park.
So what do you do when your elderly pack member starts displaying difficulty getting on or off the couch and other furniture? What if it scares you the way they land awkwardly when jumping down to the floor from a high bed, the way they land and the grimacing on their little furry faces?
It’s a safe bet that you need to invest in a dog ramp to ease the strain on their joints. Yes, ramps can even benefit younger pups who aren’t feeling the pinch of arthritis yet as a dog ramp protect their joints from too much jumping. We recommend this list of the best pet ramps we’ve compiled. Choose the best one to fir your needs…and your pet’s.