Dog Agility Training Tips

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Dog Agility Training Tips

Bericht van Danny op do 5 nov 2009 - 3:26

One of the very most fun ways for a dog owner to spend quality time with the dog is to take an agility course. These courses foster trust and closeness between dog and owner. Both human and animal benefit from tackling a challenge and accomplishing goals. Plus, taking an agility course is good exercise. Agility courses are not for puppies only. Any age dog can take and benefit from agility training as long as the following tips are kept in mind.

Remember that a pet dog isn’t that different from a child. Most dogs are eager to please, as are most children. Dogs need plenty of praise when they’ve done the right thing, and gentle remonstration when they’ve done the wrong thing. Dogs need to be well rested, exercised, and fed in order to perform at their best. The dog will benefit from expectations that are well set out and consistent. Changing the rules in mid-stream is unfair to the animal, just as it’s unfair to a child to say one thing and then change to another. Remember that your dog will do whatever it takes to please you, as long as he can figure it out. That’s where these tips come in: they’ll help you to communicate with your dog in a way that he can understand.

Make sure your dog is in good physical shape before putting him under too much stress. Agility training in itself is good exercise, so don’t jump in to too much all at once. If the dog has been sedentary, allow him to start slow and have plenty of time to recover between sessions.

Know your goals. Is the main reason for training to compete, or is the emphasis on teamwork, fitness, and fun? If you do plan to compete, work up to it slowly. Accept that one full season may pass before the dog is ready for competition.

Don’t scold. There’s no reason to begin an activity for the purpose of enriching your relationship with your dog if it’s going to lead you to be disappointed or cross with the dog. Keep it light.

Praise. Dogs always learn better when good behavior is praised and undesirable behavior is gently corrected.

Practice. Don’t be hit-and-miss with the sessions. Attend all sessions that are scheduled. Practice is key to learning and developing.

Keep it short and fun. Know your dog well enough to recognize when he is frustrated or plain old tired. Stop sessions while the dog is still having fun so that he’ll want to return.

Agility courses can be greatly beneficial in many ways. Just take it easy on yourself and the dog, and remember you’re doing it for fun.

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