What training is required to get my dog to do agility feats? Its a very common question with all dog owners now.
What is an Agility dog?
Agility involves a handler directing the dog around obstacles and attempt to negotiate the obstacles on their way . The obstacles could be elevated walks, jumps, loops, ramps, poles, that dog weave through and tunnels.
It is an athletic event which involves, concentration training, conditioning and teamwork. Agility training gives your dog the ability to boost confidence and test his or her strengths.
How do you train your dog to do agility?
Agility training is a great fun and helps release energy for you and your pet. It is a fantastic way to enhance your leisure time with your dog.
Thee are different sources and approaches available to train agility however giving the right training is extremely important as in case of animals, its difficult to reverse habits. There are many different techniques but lets look at few of the basics.
First to start with, you need space and time for agility training. It might be quite frustrating initially to repeat instructions .
Secondly you have to decide whether you want your dog to be participating in competitions which will decide how intensive the training needs to be. An expert trainer supervision could be required for broader range of agility training.
Here are some simple agility tricks that you can try with your dog. Go ahead and try these tricks!!
1. Left and Right Spin.
Asking your dog to spin in whatever direction you choose is quite easy. Hold a treat over his head and move it in circles saying either “left” or “right”. Once he starts following your direction along with his body , he will know how to spin as per the direction.
2. Hoop Jump
To teach the basics of jumping consider Hula-hoop. Hold the Hula- hoop little above the ground or may be merely touching the ground. On the other hand, take some treat and direct your dog to go through the hoop using a command “through”.
You can increase the height of the hoop with time once he gets accustomed to verbal commands.
3. Left, Right, Left
If your dog is facing problems switching or changing sides, train him on identifying directions. When you are taking a turn on a walk , shout out loud the direction .Soon your dog will start anticipating which way to go on your direction.
While walking your dog should be able to adjust the pace with you without being pulled, getting distracted or lagging behind. So to accomplish a matching speed, keep him continuously engaged with different commands.
Practice going slow, fast , stop or run and switch the order so that the dog can predict your next move.
5. Extended Sit and Stay
Give direction to your dog to sit and stay and then ask one for your friend to hold the dog until you walk away a distance. Then turn and say “come”. With practice, you can get your dog wait until he gets a call from you – even if you are yards away.
You can then slowly move the agility training to more complex moves. Take your time and start off slow. Once your dog pick up the necessary commands, you can then work on polishing the speed and accuracy.