5 Essential Suggestions for Dog Agility Training


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, reminiscent of the way to concentrate on 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 way in which, if you happen to need 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 assist you teach your dog the way to love competing in agility.

Suggestions for Dog Agility Training

1. Teach Your Canine to Pay Attention to You

When planning to coach your dog in agility for the primary time, it could possibly be easy to concentrate on the obstacles. In spite of everything, all the jumping, climbing, and running through tunnels is the fun part.

Nonetheless, there’s one essential indisputable fact that recent 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 actual fact, courses are laid out in order that dogs must concentrate on their handlers.

Your dog must consider you so you’ll be able to tell them which obstacle to finish. Doing obstacles within the flawed order is taken into account a fault in agility and can hurt your dog’s rating.

Keeping your dog focused on you’ll be able to be hard whenever you’re each attempting to go as quickly as possible.

The very first thing it is best to teach your dog when training agility (and arguably an important) is the way to keep their attention on you no matter distractions.

Teach your dog a cue which means they need to make eye contact with you. “Watch me” is a typical and effective command. Start training when there are few distractions and step by step move as much as highly distracting environments.

Just once your dog fully understands the way to concentrate to you no matter what else is happening do you have to use the command while your dog completes agility obstacles.

2. Make It Fun

dog on agility training course

Agility must be all about having fun. Probably the most successful agility dogs come onto the sector yipping their excitement, barely in a position to contain themselves. You wish 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 amazing pleasure on your dog, follow these easy guidelines:

  • Keep sessions short. 5 to 10 minutes is suitable for many dogs initially.
  • Stop while your dog continues to be engaged. No matter how long the training session is, at all times stop training while your dog continues to be excited. This can make training a high-value activity on your dog.
  • Rejoice yourself. It’s hard on your dog to enjoy training when you’re taking it too seriously and being critical of yourself. Laugh, be excited, and usually have an amazing 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 Canine Methods to Move with You

Agility requires your dog to not only concentrate on you but move with you thru the course. Teach your dog the way to run at your side. Use your commands to have your dog concentrate 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 on 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 way to run with you at a slight distance. This step is very important 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 lots of fun and an enjoyable challenge on your dog.

4. Teach Your Canine to Interact with Objects

You possibly can start training your dog the way to interact with objects before you introduce agility obstacles. Listed here are a couple of objects you’ll be able to teach your dog to interact with to form the inspiration for agility obstacles:

Circe a Barrel

Agility requires your dog to make numerous tight turns in between obstacles. This skill could be taught with an easy 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 large enough and durable enough on 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 very important in order that they’ll be higher in a position to handle obstacles just like the dog walk.

The Ladder Walk

husky on agility training

Probably the most difficult things to show an agility dog is the way to concentrate on each foot. One great method to do that is to put a ladder on the bottom.

Then, have your dog walk through the rungs. Your dog may 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

Probably the most difficult facets 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.

A terrific method to start is to construct a wobble board. Just place a bit of plywood on top of something small reminiscent of a brick or tennis ball. The goal is for the plywood to be unstable. You can even 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.

A Tunnel

Many dogs are terrified of going right into a dark space, especially after 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.

To start with, make 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 option to see the tip.

5. Introduce the Obstacle Course

Once your dog has mastered the way to concentrate and move with you, and after they have learned the way to interact with objects to arrange 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 are allowed to finish obstacles without being directed by their handler or who get accustomed to completing obstacles in the identical order each time may 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 concentrate 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.

At all times practice the agility course in a special order, introducing obstacles randomly. Never allow your dog to finish obstacles without being directed to achieve this by you.

It helps to vary up the order of the obstacles.

Even when the course stays unchanged, make certain that you simply’re changing the direction wherein your dog completes the course.

Introduce distractions like other dogs, people shouting, etc. reminiscent of what your dog will experience on an actual course.


Agility is some of the fun things you’ll be able to do together with your dog. With these five suggestions, you’ll be well in your method to training your dog to excel in agility.

Don’t forget if you happen to need 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 abilities that you simply’ve taught your dog at home.


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