Agility Training Benefits
Agility Training is a dog enthusiast, you have probably been a spectator to dog agility sports. Seeing dogs navigate their way through obstacles, zipping through tunnels and over hoops, is tremendously enjoyable and enthralling. Unsurprisingly, dog agility is one of the most popular sports in many parts of the world.
While dog agility is a competitive sport, agility training is quite beneficial – even if you do not intend to participate in agility competitions. In this blog, we will discuss the various ways in which agility training can benefit your pup (and yourself, for that matter).
The Benefits of Agility Training for Your Dog
1) Offers an Outlet for Mental and Physical Energy
As you probably understand, agility training is one of the safest and most enjoyable ways for your dog to utilize their energy. This is particularly true for active dog breeds like German Shepherds, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers, and Australian Shepherds. The absence of such an outlet can lead to behavioral issues in dogs and even cause them to indulge in (self) destructive behaviors.
Agility training allows your dog to run at maximum speed while concentrating on the tasks at hand. This strengthens your pooch’s joints, facilitates the development of lean muscle, and improves focus and coordination.
Also, the mental energy release is just as important as the physical – a single session of agility training is often enough to wear out even the most indefatigable of dogs.
Training is also great for older dogs: while these dogs may not be as quick or agile as they used to be, they still require mental enrichment and stimulation.
2) Fulfills Your Dog’s Natural Instincts
Dogs are natural hunters, spending most of their time in the wild chasing after and capturing many different types of prey.
When pursuing food, dogs are required to chase foxes and rabbits through forests, tunnels, and caves, navigating a range of obstacles along the way. Hence, a dog’s natural instincts squeezing through vegetation and bushes, climbing steep slopes, and jumping over or sidestepping fallen logs. Since the ultimate aim is capturing the prey, time is of the essence for wild dogs: the faster they run, the likelier they are to be able to feed their bellies.
Training is designed to mimic such natural scenarios and satiate the chasing and hunting instincts of domesticated dogs.
3) Develops Confidence with Agility Training
Confidence is an important aspect of a dog’s personality. One of the best ways to boost your dog’s confidence is to help them overcome their fears and anxieties.
Through agility training, your dog can get over their fears of small spaces, complex surroundings, uneven surfaces, and other ‘frightening’ situations with you, their best friend, right by their side.
Make sure to reward your dog after every run, exercise, and session. The more you appreciate your pup, the more you will help them develop faith, trust, and confidence in their abilities.
The confidence developed through agility training will rub off on other parts of your dog’s life as well – be it dealing with novel situations or interacting with new dogs and people.
4) Strengthens Your Bond with Your Dog
Agility courses have been designed in a way that makes it impossible for dogs to complete them without assistance from their owners. As your dog relies on your verbal and non-verbal instructions to complete the various challenges and sessions, they will begin to trust you even more than they already do.
Guiding your dog through agility obstacles also improves dog-owner communication, reinforces obedience commands, and ultimately helps polish your dog’s behavior and personality beyond the training course.
5) Develops Self-Control
When given the opportunity, most untrained dogs will race towards the task or obstacle they find most attractive at the moment.
Some dogs salivate at the idea of jumps and seesaws, some are crazy about tunnels and burrows, and some just leap at the chance to run at top gear.
Training, be it with or without equipment, helps foster your dog’s self-control by forcing them to focus only on the task that you are instructing them to do.
6) Aids in Distraction Training
Whether you train at home or at a dedicated facility, agility training requires your dog to maintain their focus in the face of distractions they may not face in everyday life.
Take an agility training hall, for example: there will be dozens of other dogs running and barking around, people coming and going, new smells and noises – and, despite all of these diversions, your dog will have to commit their attention to the training regime.
With time, your dog will be better able to deal with distractions and diversions in their routine life as well.
7) Can Help You Get in Shape as Well
Agility training is hard work, and not just for your dog: you will be sprinting alongside your pup, guiding them as they soar over jumps, weave their way through poles, and crawl out of collapsed tunnels.
In other words, an agility training session can get your heart pumping and give you a solid cardiovascular workout.
How To Start With Agility Training
Before getting down to dog agility training, make sure your pup is crate trained, can make eye contact with you, and capable of responding on cue to the following commands:
- Come when called
Once these fundamentals are sorted, you need to determine if agility training is your dog’s thing. You can do so by visiting local pet expos or fairs and trying out some of the agility equipment on offer. You could also find a training club and try attending an introductory session to see how things go for you and your dog.
Final Word on Agility Training
To wrap up, agility training offers a number of physical and mental benefits for your dog. Other than that, it helps strengthen the pet-owner bond, increases your dog’s confidence (and your confidence in your dog), and can even serve as a rigorous workout routine for you.
To explore our full range of affordable and high-quality agility training equipment, please feel free to visit our website.