Does Your Dog have Destructive Behavior? Consider Agility Training as a Solution!
For dog owners, there is often a gap concerning activities that are an ideal exercise for the dog and sports or recreation that are fun for their owner. Walking and running are good ways to help your pet burn energy, but neither offers much of mental stimulation for your dog.
If you’re in search of a new sport that keeps you and your dog on your toes (physically and mentally), consider dog agility.
Benefits of Basic Dog Agility
Dog agility has many benefits, like increased health (for dogs and owners), improved temperament in dogs, and a stronger relationship between dogs and their owners. You don’t need to be athletic or have any prior experience to start with dog agility or to be good at it. Dogs of all ages and breeds, as well as owners of all ages and skills, can participate in this sport.
A lot of dog owners know regular exercise is good for dogs, but agility training incorporates exercising with the challenge of learning new skills, which also taps into the dog’s brain. Dogs were bred to work with humans, and they thrive on completing a task.
Bored dogs are likely to have more behavioral issues than dogs who are challenged with new tasks to do and problems to solve; mischief is a way for bored dogs to spice up their routines.
If your dog:
- Doesn’t follow commands;
- Chews on furniture; or
- Wreaks havoc in the house while you are at work
Then agility training is quite possibly the answer – with its focus on basic obedience commands, may help control these destructive behaviors.
Mastering Your Commands
Another element of agility dog training that helps develop dogs’ good behavior is the need to master commands. The majority of new dog owners aim to train their new dogs by training them with basic commands, but not every owner succeeds in following through or reinforcing the commands by using them regularly.
To run a dog through the different obstacles, the dog and its owner ought to have a shared language that the dog can and will easily follow.
The time spent training on commands, and going through obstacles together helps connect the gap between humans and dogs by making them a team. In basic agility training, the dog and its handler work hand-in-hand (or hand-in-paw) to finish the course. Both have essential roles to play: the handler must give concise and clear commands and the dog has to follow them.
Dog agility training is a creative yet fun way to improve fitness in both dogs and their handlers and to add regular exercise into your routine. If the kind of exercise agility training necessitates will be difficult for you for any reason, don’t fret!
Your instructor can help you assist with any disabilities. Your level of commitment as a novice handler can vary depending on your schedule and whether or not you want your dog to compete in events.
As a Beginner
For the majority of beginners, agility training involves attending a weekly class and reinforcing the concepts learner for thirty minutes a day, which means it is not a time-intensive activity. For those handlers who want to get seriously involved with the competition, the time requirements amp up, but it is no more demanding than other hobbies or sports.
Dog agility training involves an obstacle training course through which a handler commands a dog to achieve desired levels of speed and accuracy. Many types of obstacles are used to elicit desired responses from a subject dog, which will let it finish the entire course and, eventually, complete the training.
Goal of Agility Training
Finishing the course once doesn’t necessarily mean that the training has been thoroughly completed.
The goal is not to finish the course per se – but to develop the dog’s:
- Speed; and
A dog may have completed a course, but its responses might not be satisfactory. In such a situation, another trip through the course is needed.
Start with the Basics: Obedience
Dog agility training is specific, and if your dog doesn’t know basic obedience yet, continuing with the training is futile. Basic obedience training enhances a dog’s temperament and boosts its attention span, which will make it adjust better to the rigors of training. Once basic obedience has been instilled in the dog, the trainer can then start to focus on agility.
Best Time to Introduce Agility Training
Training can begin at any age, as long as the dog’s health and condition permit. Nevertheless, extra care must be given to dogs less than one year old to prevent injuries to their still-developing joints. The dog may try simpler training routine and courses first, before moving up to more complex ones.
Does Your Dog Like It?
It is very important to evaluate and measure the response of a dog to the training. Basic dog agility training is not hit-and-miss sessions, but a complete, thorough, and continuous course that does not omit repetition among its requirements.
Hence, a dog may become receptive or else regressive!
To address the latter response, conditioning must be done first to prevent forcing your dog into a situation which he is not prepared to face. A dog must be fit enough to walk, run, and jump whenever the handler commands him to. Otherwise, the dog may get tired, exhausted, shy away, or even worse, fall sick.
Take note that improving the pet-owner bond is of top importance in dog agility training. A dog going throughsuch training should feel appreciated and satisfied. A handler must be careful in following his planned course of action during training. This can’t be highlighted enough: if it is not fun, your dog won’t like it, and the activity will seem more of a punishment than a game or fun activity.
Positivity is Key!
Always try to be positive no matter what! If your furry friend fails in an obstacle speak to them in a positive way. Expressing your disappointment by saying something like ‘oh dear’ will discourage your dog.
Don’t act disappointed, because your dog will know.
Try going through the obstacle again, and if it still fails, simplify the task. Lower the jump, go slower or guide them in a way that will ensure their success.