Dog agility training is both challenging and fun. Whether you are doing it for plain fun or for serious competition, it is one of the most fulfilling activities for you and your pet. Pet agility training involves a structured training regimen and exercises for the both the dog and his human handler. We usually see in agility trials pets competing in timed off-leash courses with their human companions.
The training for dog agility is based roughly on the training platform of equestrian show jumping competitions. This type of dog agility competitions take its roots on the first show competition at the Crufts Pet Show held in England in 1979. It started out as pure entertainment but later shifted to become a competition event as more and more pet lovers and handlers became interested in it.
Dog agility training uses some essential equipment that includes several obstacles such as tunnels, weave poles, jumps, A-frames, see-saws and pet walks. These are simple equipment made out of inexpensive and light materials and are generally for short term use. Resources for your own backyard dog agility training are in abundance and you can also purchase ready-to-use equipment which is generally cheap. You can also make your own obstacles by using easy-to-follow instructions in building obstacles utilizing common materials like PVC pipes. However, you should always remember to follow standard design used in regular competition in order to achieve the best results from the agility training of your pet dog.
In regular dog agility competitions, the obstacles used are arranged in a variety of configurations and sequences for every levels of the competition. The dog and human companions are allowed to negotiate the course for familiarization prior to actual competition. The handlers are allowed to use hand and verbal signals to guide their dogs through the competition course but cannot touch their pets or the equipment in whatever way possible. The levels of difficulty of the obstacle course are different and it is dependent on the level of competition. Thus, the competing dogs are grouped into classes prior to actual competition based on the height of the dogs. The height of the equipment used in the obstacle course is based on the competition class in which the shortest dogs in each class are entered into.
Whatever is your motivation in training your dog, this activity you share with your pet can bring you lots of fun and excitement. However, most find the participation in agility competitions as the reward for long hours spent in agility training for both the dog and the handler. The training itself takes time and good results are attained only with the right amount of patience and persistence of both the dog and the handler. The dog and the handler must be in good shape before they begin the dog agility training as they are required to put great amount of time in training all possible configurations of the obstacle course. In order to get the most from the agility training, monitor closely the performance of your dog making sure that you do not push too hard during training. You should remember that this training is first and foremost a fun activity for you and your pet dog.