Agility for the dog: what is it, how to start and what obstacles to set on the track?
Agility is a sports discipline in which a well-coordinated duo participates: human and dog.Agility
It is a sport open to both purebred and multiracial dogs.
A dog competing in this discipline must complete a special race as quickly as possible and without errors agility obstacle course.
The guide guides him through successive obstacles using voice commands or gestures or body movements.
You wonder if this is a sport for you and your dog?
Read the article below. From it you will learn:
- What is agility?
- Agility how to start?
- What are the benefits of practicing this type of sport?
- What is agility?
- Agility rules
- Which dogs can train agility?
- Agility how to start?
- Health contraindications
- Adequate socialization
- Agility course
- Agility for a dog: is it worth it?
What is agility?
Agility is a sports discipline, which in Poland has been developing very dynamically in recent years.
It is a sport that can be practiced by almost every owner with his dog, provided that there are no health contraindications for it.
The rules are simple.
Track consists of various kinds obstacles, which must be defeated together without fail.Agility obstacles
Your dog must:
- run through the dark, bent agility tunnel,
- jump over obstacles,
- run in slalom,
- check your sense of balance on equivalents,
- slide down ramps.
Such a track can be set up in the hall or outdoors.
It is quite large (it has from 10 to 20 obstacles).
During the route, you have to change direction at least twice, overcoming the obstacles in a strictly defined sequence.
As the dog runs over the track, you run alongside the dog to cheer him on.Agility rules
It seems very complicated?
No, if you start your first training sessions early enough.
Which dogs can train agility?
Let me start by saying that it is a discipline which, thanks to its open principles, gives you the opportunity to participate in it almost any dog.
First of all - it is divided into three growth classes, so you can easily be classified in one of them.
- Small - this is a class in which small breed dogs compete - up to 35 cm at the withers (e.g. Yorkshire Terrier).
- Medium - Medium dogs - 35-43 cm (e.g. Cocker Spaniel).
- Large - large dogs - over 43 cm (e.g. Labrador).
The division also occurs due to the level of the dog's skill.
- Class 0 is an unofficial training class.
- Class A1.
- Class A2.
- Class A3 on the other hand, it is dedicated to the quadrupeds they cultivate competitive agility.
- It also exists OPEN class.
Thanks to such a large amount of freedom, this discipline can be practiced by both professionals and amateurs.
Those who seriously engage in this sport most often compete with dogs of the breed Border Collie.
These animals, due to their physical and mental predispositions, achieve the best results in this sport and occupy leading positions in professional agility competitions globally.
How do they look agility competitions you can see in the video belowWatch Border Collie, Tex, Win 2015 Masters Agility Championship | FOX SPORTS
Watch this video on YouTube
For those who cannot take up this sport professionally, it is possible to practice it as an amateur.
They can also be realized in it to a much limited extent.
Agility how to start?Agility how to start?
You too can start your adventure with this sport, simply treating it as great fun for yourself and your dog.
There is only one rule - no coercion and no aggression.
Where to start then?
Health contraindicationsDog dysplasia
Check if you both have any health contraindications for practicing this type of sport.
Know that jumping is not recommended for dogs suffering from hip dysplasia.
if you have puppy if young dog, start training with him adequately to his abilities.
The skeleton of such a toddler is not yet fully "fossilized ".
It consists of cartilages that are very sensitive to various types of stress.
Overloading a young dog can cause bone distortion and injuries that are difficult to heal later.
Also in the case of mature dogs, it is important that you pay attention to the condition of your pet.
If you can see that the dog is willing to play this type of game, there is nothing to prevent you from spending your free time with it in this way.
CommandsLearning obedience and commands
Start by training your dog in the field basic obedience.
When negotiating obstacles on the agility track, the dog must know basic commands.
He just has to listen to you.
In order for a dog to try its hand at agility, it should be able to:
- come on command,
- sit down,
- to lie down,
- walk on the leg without a leash.
Therefore, start working with your puppy from the first days of his stay in your home - of course, initially only in the form of play.
If you want to start such an adventure with an older dog, there are also no contraindications for it.
Either way, basic obedience training will be useful not only in sports, but also in everyday life.There is only one rule - do not force your dog to do anything.
Work on his obedience only on the basis of positive reinforcements.
Adequate socializationSocialization of the dog
Since in agility, the dog has to overcome all sorts of obstacles, the overriding principle is, so that he would not be afraid of them.
Therefore, the process of proper socialization of the animal is paramount.
Introduce your dog to different surfaces and heights.
Get him used to a multitude of things.
Have fun with it discovering new secrets of this sport.
Know that if you have an aggressive dog, you won't be able to participate with it anywhere.
This is another very important element of the socialization process.
Aggression or fear of the crowd or other dogs disqualify you from participating in this type of activity.
If you put a lot of effort into carrying out the correct socialization process of your dog, the result of this action will be a number of positives, from which you will constantly reap only benefits later in life.
Agility courseAgility course
It is a big help for beginners course in agility school, which conducts these types of classes.
There are many offers on the market today.
Remember to check how the training is conducted when choosing agility classes.
Ask participants for their opinions:
- are they satisfied?
- whether their pets are willing to participate in the classes?
A good start is an important factor - know that an inappropriate approach to an animal can discourage them from this form of activity for life.
Therefore, if you want to approach this field professionally, follow the recommendations of people who already practice this sport.
Use the knowledge of professionals, as a professional agility trainer will adjust the exercises to the abilities and condition of your dog.
It will also be a great support for you due to your knowledge and skills in working with dogs.
Moreover, the group is always cheering.
Together with others, it will be much easier for you to train and overcome the next levels of initiation in agility.
Agility for a dog: is it worth it?
And what else? What are the benefits of participating in this type of activity??
- Sport develops the physical fitness of the dog and the handler - a large dose of exercise prevents overweight and obesity in the dog.
- Working with a dog influences his intellectual development.
- Participation in trainings teaches the social competences of a pet.
- Builds a positive relationship between the dog and the handler.
- It stimulates intellectually.
- It improves the dog's integration into society.
- Finally, it triggers endorphins, both in the dog and its handler.
- It is a great form of recreation.
- It broadens your social contacts.
SummaryAgility: It's definitely worth getting started
It is definitely worth starting to practice sport as it is agility.
It is a form of activity in which almost every person and his dog can participate, provided that there are no health contraindications for it.
Know that you can start such an adventure at any time, treating it as an interesting form of spending free time with your dog.
There is nothing greater than seeing a happy pet excited for each of your training sessions together.
You too can experience it when you decide to start your adventure with agility.
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