Over lockdown the world seems to have gone puppy crazy! These puppies are now starting to get bigger and probably more boisterous! Now the world has opened up again we can start to do more with our favourite four-legged friend. Dog ownership can definitely have ups and downs, but if you are experiencing more downs than ups with your dog’s behaviour you may need a little help.
Dogs need a certain amount of both mental and physical exercise each day and if you have a working breed dog then they need a job to do. Sometimes the daily walks just aren’t enough to fulfil their extra busy personalities. Maybe you walk your dog twice a day and they are still bouncing off the ceilings come tea time! This is where agility comes in.
You may not know a lot about dog agility apart from what you have seen on the TV at Crufts, but it is a fantastic way to get you having fun together. Agility is a team sport built on the relationship you create together. It is a fantastic way to bond with your dog while giving them an outlet to work their body and their brain!
Agility is the perfect blend of both physical and mental stimulation. The benefits of starting agility training with your dog are endless, they include:
• An increased bond between you as you become that perfect team!
• Focus in new environments.
• Focus around distractions.
• Increased recall skills.
• Increased loose lead walking skills.
• Mental stimulation.
• Physical fitness.
If you are new to the world of dog agility it can often be confusing knowing where to start and how to do things properly and safely. Getting your dogs to complete the obstacles like you see on Crufts straight away may seem fun, however if your dog gets injured or scared from doing things too soon and not learning correctly, the damage it will do to your dog will not only be painful to your wallet, it will harm the relationship you have with your dog too!
Agility training starts well away from the actual agility equipment, it starts with fun games that are really easy to practice at home, best of all you need no equipment to get started. These games can be practiced at home for as little as 3 minutes, perfect to play while you are waiting for the kettle to boil or it is the ad break on Emmerdale!
You can start pre-agility games from 6 months upwards and the same games are used in training your dog all the way through their agility career. Creating happy and confident agility dogs who love the sport as much as their handlers is the main priority in all my training. Agility training not only gives you the agility skills but also the most important bit – the team work skills which go hand in hand with the equipment training. These skills transfer to everyday life and as a result you get a calmer, better behaved dog at home.
If you like having fun with your dog and you are looking for a new hobby to do together then agility is for you! Whether you plan to do it just for fun or to take it into the competition ring my training will suit your requirements. Whether you decide to take it to the competition ring or not, you can be safe in the knowledge that you have trained your dog the correct way and built a fantastic relationship together whilst having fun.
I have successfully achieved fantastic results with my own dogs climbing the grades within months of them starting their competition careers, both my dogs now compete in grade 7, which is the highest level in the UK.
If you are looking for a new hobby and want to give agility training a try then head over to my website, I offer to train students online so there is an option to train with me wherever you are based.