Training your dog in agility is a superb opportunity for the 2 of you to bond. It also provides much-needed exercise for high-energy dogs. Finally, agility teaches essential skills, resembling the right way to give attention to you.
You possibly can train your dog the essential skills to finish this fun activity at home, with minimal investment. Once your dog has mastered the fundamentals, they’ll get essentially the most out of coaching with obstacles.
By the best way, should you desire a more in-depth agility course, Dog Endorsed recommends Dog Agility at Home by SpiritDog Training (Save 20% with coupon code DogEndorsed2021). I earn a small commission from any sales.
Listed here are 5 tricks to show you how to teach your dog the right way to love competing in agility.
Suggestions for Dog Agility Training
1. Teach Your Dog to Pay Attention to You
When planning to coach your dog in agility for the primary time, it may be easy to give attention to the obstacles. In spite of everything, the entire jumping, climbing, and running through tunnels is the fun part.
Nevertheless, there’s one essential proven fact that latest trainers often overlook: in agility, the handler tells the dog where to go. It isn’t necessarily obvious which obstacle your dog should do next.
In truth, courses are laid out in order that dogs must give attention to their handlers.
Your dog must think about you so you may tell them which obstacle to finish. Doing obstacles within the fallacious order is taken into account a fault in agility and can hurt your dog’s rating.
Keeping your dog focused on you may be hard once you’re each attempting to go as quickly as possible.
The very first thing it’s best to teach your dog when training agility (and arguably crucial) is the right way to keep their attention on you no matter distractions.
Teach your dog a cue meaning they need to make eye contact with you. “Watch me” is a typical and effective command. Start training when there are few distractions and steadily move as much as highly distracting environments.
Just once your dog fully understands the right way to listen to you no matter what else is happening must you use the command while your dog completes agility obstacles.
2. Make It Fun
Agility needs to be all about having fun. Probably the most successful agility dogs come onto the sector yipping their excitement, barely capable of contain themselves. You would like agility to be something your dog looks forward to.
Dogs that love agility greater than absolutely anything else are the dogs that excel on this sport. To make training an awesome pleasure to your dog, follow these easy guidelines:
- Keep sessions short. 5 to 10 minutes is acceptable for many dogs initially.
- Stop while your dog remains to be engaged. No matter how long the training session is, at all times stop training while your dog remains to be excited. This may make training a high-value activity to your dog.
- Rejoice yourself. It’s hard to your dog to enjoy training when you’re taking it too seriously and being critical of yourself. Laugh, be excited, and customarily have an awesome time while training.
- Reward copiously. Give your dog loads of rewards for successfully completing an obstacle and even for trying. Use treats, a favourite toy or game, and your sincere and enthusiastic praise.
3. Teach Your Dog How one can Move with You
Agility requires your dog to not only give attention to you but move with you thru the course. Teach your dog the right way to run at your side. Use your commands to have your dog listen to you and hold a treat or favorite toy.
Start out by running in a straight direction. Next, add loads of twists, turns, and direction changes to make it difficult to your dog.
Encourage your dog to remain on one side of you, then train them to modify to the opposite side. Practice switching forwards and backwards in addition to running on one side.
Next, teach your dog the right way to run with you at a slight distance. This step is vital in order that your dog will learn that they’re still following your command to remain near while completing an agility course.
In spite of everything, they’ll must go far enough out from you to go over the obstacle. Done accurately, this training will likely be loads of fun and an enjoyable challenge to your dog.
4. Teach Your Dog to Interact with Objects
You possibly can start training your dog the right way to interact with objects before you introduce agility obstacles. Listed here are just a few objects you may teach your dog to interact with to form the muse for agility obstacles:
Circe a Barrel
Agility requires your dog to make a number of tight turns in between obstacles. This skill might be taught with a straightforward barrel, trash can, or other large, sturdy obstacle.
Teach your dog to exit from you and across the obstacle before coming back.
It really works well to shape the behavior by giving your dog a reward each time they move towards the obstacle. Eventually, they’ll circle it and are available back to you.
Perch on Something
Use anything sufficiently big and durable enough to your dog to face on. Avoid perches so large that your dog can walk around on them. Encourage your dog to leap up on the thing and stay still for a moment.
This helps train your dog for the pause table once they get on the agility course. It also helps your dog learn where their hind legs are.
This is vital in order that they’ll be higher capable of handle obstacles just like the dog walk.
The Ladder Walk
Some of the difficult things to show an agility dog is the right way to pay attention to each foot. One great strategy to do that is to put a ladder on the bottom.
Then, have your dog walk through the rungs. Your dog could have to take into consideration exactly where their hind legs are.
Start out slowly. Step by step increase the speed until your dog can run quickly across without touching any rungs.
Here’s a video I discovered where they use clicker training to reward their dog to walk through the ladder:
A Wobble Board, Skateboard, or Something Else That Moves
Some of the difficult features of agility for a lot of dogs is coping with something that moves under them. They’ll need this skill to successfully navigate the seesaw.
An amazing strategy to start is to construct a wobble board. Just place a chunk of plywood on top of something small resembling a brick or tennis ball. The goal is for the plywood to be unstable. You may also teach your dog to step on a skateboard or wagon.
Encourage your dog each time they make a move to interact with the thing. Eventually, teach them to face on top of it through the movement.
Many dogs are scared of going right into a dark space, especially once they can’t see the tip. You possibly can easily construct your individual tunnel with a blanket and chairs. Simply drape a blanket over the chairs and encourage your dog to walk through.
At first, be certain the tip is clearly visible and keep the tunnel short. As your dog gains confidence, increase the length. Eventually, drape the blanket in order that your dog won’t give you the chance to see the tip.
5. Introduce the Agility Course
Once your dog has mastered the right way to listen and move with you, and once they have learned the right way to interact with objects to organize them for agility, it’s time to introduce the agility course.
It’s absolutely essential that you simply avoid teaching any bad habits as you introduce the course.
Dogs which can be allowed to finish obstacles without being directed by their handler or who get accustomed to completing obstacles in the identical order each time could have a difficult time unlearning these bad habits down the road.
Dogs that win at agility are rarely those that complete the course the quickest, but often, those that complete it with the fewest mistakes.
Probably the most common mistake, by far, is dogs forgetting to listen to their handler and completing an obstacle that they weren’t directed to finish.
Allowing dogs to finish obstacles without your direction is setting them as much as make this error down the road.
All the time practice the agility course in a distinct order, introducing obstacles randomly. Never allow your dog to finish obstacles without being directed to accomplish that by you.
It helps to alter up the order of the obstacles.
Even when the course stays unchanged, be certain that you simply’re changing the direction during which your dog completes the course.
Introduce distractions like other dogs, people shouting, etc. resembling what your dog will experience on an actual course.
Have Fun Training Your Dog in Agility
Agility is one of the fun things you may do together with your dog. With these five suggestions, you’ll be well in your strategy to training your dog to excel in agility.
Don’t forget should you desire a more in-depth agility course, Dog Endorsed recommends Dog Agility at Home by SpiritDog Training (Save 20% with coupon code DogEndorsed2021). I earn a small commission from any sales.
A category will get your dog ready for the high-stakes environment of competitive agility. It‘ll also polish the talents that you simply’ve taught your dog at home.