How To Do Agility Training With Your Dog

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How To Do Agility Training With Your Dog

January 03, 2023 6 min read

The term “agility training” has become very popular in recent years. Many breed organizations offer courses for beginner or advanced levels that teach you how to work with your dog on a number of different exercises. These exercises are typically characterized as something like chase, retreat, bear, etc.

There is one exercise though that some may find confusing. This is when your dog needs to learn to move away quickly from someone or something they want to meet. This is called a stop/start exercise and it can be tough to get through without help!

Given this, there are now a bunch of resources online that tell you how to do this exercise yourself. While doing this at home is great fun, let me warn you - some dogs will not agree!

In fact, some dogs will try everything in their power to avoid this agility challenge! What makes these particular dogs particularly difficult to train into this exercise is that they are usually very active and playful.

If you have ever seen those breeds that seem almost impossible to put down then you know what I mean! Luckily, most dogs eventually give up and join Team Stop-Start but only after lots of effort and struggle.

Develop your dog's agility skills

The second part of developing your puppy’s agilities is working with the different types of obstacles. You will need to know what equipment you have at home so that you can use those things in training, otherwise it won’t make sense!

Some common types of obstacle courses include the grid, ladder, tunnel, see-through box, and weave poles. All of these require different amounts of strength, precision, and timing for your dog to succeed.

Agility trainers develop their dogs’ skill by having them work through each one of these independently. Each challenge has a 30 minute time limit, which is how long it takes most dogs to be completely done with the exercise.

After this period of time has been reached, the trainer gives the pooch a break until they are asked to repeat the same task but under difficult conditions. This process keeps being repeated until the dog is able to consistently perform all of the challenges without needing any breaks or help from anyone else.

Use training sessions as a way to keep your dog's mind and body fit

how to do agility training with your dog

Doing agility with a puppy is the best way to start because it creates a more stable learning environment. Puppies learn by watching and copying what their peers do, so starting off with some basic fun games can help establish a baseline for future skills!

Practice does not require any equipment other than an outdoor area and a yard or patch of grass you are willing to invest in. You will need a leash to take your dog outside, but this can be a hassle when they get distracted or tired during practices. A sturdy collar and food reward can also help incentivize practice times.

Agility training is a great activity to do with dogs that love to play. Even if your dog is already trained, there is still something new he or she could learn from practicing these exercises.

Use training sessions as a way to keep your dog's fear of new things under control

how to do agility training with your dog

The best way to manage fears is to understand what causes the fear in the first place. Dogs can develop fears due to many different factors, including experiences during home life, exposure through socialization, and conditioning from other sources.

Agility training with dogs is very much like teaching someone how to swim or ride a bike- it uses exercises and routines that build strength and confidence. For most dogs, this will take around six months until the dog feels comfortable performing some maneuvers.

During these early stages, be conscious of what you're doing. If you are trying to teach your dog a new maneuver, make sure it isn't something he has already learned. This could set off negative associations and cause him to become fearful or even avoid the exercise altogether.

Hold training sessions when your dog shows interest

how to do agility training with your dog

When you start doing agility with your dog, you need to make sure that you are consistent! The first time you trained your dog in a few different environments, he or she probably did not understand what was expected of them.

Now that you have done it several times, you can add more environments to their repertoire. However, you must remember that for every new challenge, your dog will require slightly longer amounts of time to learn the trickings.

This is totally normal!

Your dog may take twenty minutes outside to practice his or her tricks in a small area, but they will eventually get faster as they gain experience.

Hold training sessions when your dog gets distracted

how to do agility training with your dog

The best way to do agility is by doing it with other dogs, so that is how most trainers organize classes or games of agility. This can be done in several ways!

You could take your dog to an organized agility class where they are already trained on all the different exercises and patterns, or you could find another group of people who have trained for some time and create a more relaxed environment for your two.

Either option is fine, but if you choose the second one then you need to make sure your dog is comfortable around other animals before starting. Make sure everything goes well at a meet and greet before moving onto the next stage.

Agility drills can get very competitive so you will want to pick a place that is safe and free from distractions. A park, empty field or house would work great.

Once you have found a good location, invite one or two friends over to play while your dog learns something new. Once things are going well, add a third person and keep adding people until your dog seems comfortable with the process.

Stay calm and composed during training sessions

how to do agility training with your dog

A lot of people get nervous when they are trying to train their dog, which can sometimes hinder your success. You may be too stressed out or scared for the situation that you cannot control what happens next.

At this stage, it is important to take a break and relax so that you can re-enter the process with a clear head.

If possible, find a place away from home so that you do not have distractions. If you need to stay at home, then make sure you are not in a room where you will have to wait for someone else to finish something before you start yours.

Provide a variety of training sessions

how to do agility training with your dog

While there is no wrong way to do agility, you want to make sure your dog is spending time in different types of settings and conditions.

Agility needs lots of different environments and conditions to be effective. The best agilities have at least six different courses that are varied in terrain, surface, and condition.

Some dogs will get bored or tired very quickly of an agility course, so it is important to find ways to keep them engaged. This can be by having several different courses, changing the shape or layout of the course, or adding new features such as toys or food.

You also want to try to schedule the same trainer for both one-onone interactive play and formal agility practice times. This gives your dog two good experiences with the individual they learn with!

What is the most cost efficient way to train your dog?

There are many ways to teach your dog basic commands and behaviors. Some of the more expensive strategies include using trained professional instructors, traveling to meet up with professionals, or buying products designed to help teaching.

However, these costs can add up over time making this option not feasible. Luckily, free resources exist online and you can create your own lessons at no cost!

By studying how to teach basics like sit, down, and come, along with fundamental commands like “sit” and “stay,” you will know what to do if you need to take a break during training.

Challenge your dog with different training sessions

how to do agility training with your dog

One of the most important things when it comes to agility is challenge! You should always be trying to do something new with your dog, whether it’s practicing some drills or taking them to an organized competition.

Agility requires lots of practice, so don’t worry about what level your dog is at now – try organizing a few practices for them every week!

There are many ways to organize agility games for dogs, but one of our favorite strategies is called timed events. This is where you set up a fun game (like chasing around a jump) and then time how long it takes your dog to play through it.

Cindy PetsForLife
Cindy PetsForLife

Hello, I'm Cindy, the founder of PetsForLife. I am a true animal lover with 3 cats and 1 dog of my own. My passion for all things pets has led me to create a unique collection of personalized pet gifts. Check out our personalized pet gifts on our website.

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