By Nicole Pajer
Looking for a fun way to bond with your dog and put his natural instincts to work? Check out dog agility training.
Dog agility is a popular canine sport in which a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, teeter-totter, tire jump, weave poles, pause table, and standard jumps. During competitive agility events, handlers attempt to navigate dogs through a course as quickly and as accurately as they can.
Here are the four main benefits of agility training for your dog and why you should try it.
1. Agility will fulfill your dog’s natural instincts
In the wild, dogs are natural hunters, chasing and running after a variety of prey. While in pursuit of food, dogs must often follow rabbits and foxes through a forest and navigate though a variety of barriers. Their natural instincts involve jumping over fallen logs, climbing up steep slopes, and squeezing through bushes and vegetation. Since the end goal is to catch up with prey, time is of the essence and the faster a dog runs, the better their chances of ending up with a satisfying meal. Agility courses are designed to mimic these types of natural scenarios and fulfill the hunting and chasing desires of your dog.
2. Agility is great exercise for your dog
Agility is a great way to get rid of your dog’s excess energy. Running through a course that involves passing over and through a variety of obstacles will challenge your dog’s mind and body. Involving your dog in agility will help to strengthen his muscles, improve coordination, keep him fit, and increase endurance.
3. Agility will help you get in shape, too!
As the handler, you will be running alongside your dog, and assisting him with soaring over jumps, weaving through poles, and crawling out of collapsed tunnels. While you and your dog compete to swiftly finish the course, you will be treated to a heart-healthy cardiovascular workout.
4. Agility helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog
Agility courses are set up so that dogs would not be able to complete them without the help of the handler. As the dog must rely on the verbal and hand instructions from the handler in order to navigate the course, the trust between owner and dog will be increased. Helping your dog to pass through agility obstacles will help reinforce basic obedience commands, improve dog/owner communication, and ultimately help to improve your dog’s behavior outside of the agility course.
Visit the Training Cesar’s Way website for more information and to register for the next agility clinic at Cesar’s Dog Psychology Centers in Los Angeles, CA or Fort Lauderdale, Florida.