Have you seen a dog agility competition before?
It’s a competition where dogs have to run through an obstacle course and are timed while they do it. They have to jump over obstacles, run through tunnels, weave through poles, climb over seesaws, and more! These competitions are really fun to watch, but have you thought of actually training for it with your dog?
Agility comes with a lot of benefits for you and your dog. Let’s check out how agility can completely transform your relationship with your dog, as well as his or her behavior.
Is Agility Right for Your Dog?
Agility isn’t something you want to jump right into without making sure it’s a good option for both you and your dog beforehand. Check in with your dog and their usual personality and behavior. Do they love learning new things and running around? Then they might be excited to go on an agility journey with you. Always check in with your vet to make sure your dog is healthy enough to start training.1&2
The other factor you need to figure out is if you are ready for the time commitment. You can sign up for agility classes once or twice a week, but you also need to make sure you’ll be able to practice with your dog at home.1
There are a lot of benefits to doing agility training with your dog:
Burn Energy – These obstacle courses are perfect for active dogs who want another way to expend their limitless energy. Agility goes beyond what the average dog receives, which might be a walk and a ball thrown around the yard a few times.3&4
Natural Instincts – In the wild, dogs would have to chase their prey through difficult terrain. Agility courses are set up in a similar fashion to mimic this kind of situation and allow your dog to tap into those natural chasing instincts.4
Trust – You and your dog have to work together to complete a course. They’re relying on you to give them the proper signals so they know which obstacles to get through and in which order. Through training, dogs and owners form even stronger bonds.4
Better Behavior – Many dogs will be better behaved after training for agility because they can’t just do whatever they want. They need to follow directions and commands to complete the course successfully. Dogs learn patience and self-control both on and off the leash.3
Manage Anxiety – For anxious dogs, agility can be a game-changer. As they form a better bond with their owner and conquer each obstacle, they gain confidence in their ability to face what scares them. They learn to manage their anxiety and think things through, rather than just react to a situation like they normally would.5
Agility is a fast-growing sport in the dog world and it’s easy to see why.1 Have you done agility training with your dog? Share your experience with us!
All the best,
Chris & the WERC Team
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