Sunday, August 24, 2008

How to Start Training a Dog for Agility

A lot of dog owners want to learn how to start training a dog for agility and they should know that, although easy, it is also difficult at the same time. The dog sport of agility is a real tough competition. The pet needs to navigate through a preset obstacle course in a given pattern, without errors or with as few as possible while also obtaining the best possible time. It is not at all easy for the dog to participate in such competitions and although we recommend learning from a specialist dog trainer, here are some basic tips on how to start training a dog for agility competitions.

Some dog breeds are easier to train than others. Also, some dogs are easier to train than other dogs in the same breed. This basically means that you need patience and this is your first tip on how to start training a dog for agility: having patience while also paying attention to the well being of your dog. The truth is most dogs will need a lot of training before actually competing and a typical starting class is formed of around 6 to 7 weeks of the dog being introduced to every single obstacle that is to be faced in an individual manner. Only after this stage it is recommended to combine obstacles in series of 2 or 3.

When thinking about how to start training a dog for agility you will need to focus on the rate at which the dog advances in training. Keep in mind that group classes are not recommended, exactly due to the various speed of learning that each dog has. A dog that has natural talent might be ready for competition even after a basic agility class course.

Praises and treats are 2 of the most effective ways to start training your dog for agility competitions. Treats are useful to draw the dog through the obstacles and hanged in contact places that are to be touched during competitions in various points chosen. You must always remember that the owner and the dog must work close and together and the order and positioning of the obstacles does vary from one competition to the other. The handler needs to study the course ahead and use various visual and verbal cues during the obstacle course in order for the dog to obtain instructions on what to do. Learn how to start training a dog for agility properly by talking to specialists or purchasing books if you do not feel you are ready to do so. Also, read our other Dog Agility Training article and always stay informed when deciding to train your dog alone.

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