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Agility Training For Dogs: What You Need To Know

There are many reasons why dog agility contests have become a popular animal sport. For one thing, it’s fun to watch and the dogs have a great time zipping around the courses. Agility training provides opportunities for pet owners to increase obedience and cement the bond between you and your pet, as well as providing an excellent source of exercise. If you wish for your pet to start training, here are some quick and helpful facts.

Certainly some types of dogs tend to shine on an agility course, particularly breeds such as shepherds. However, most dog breeds are sure to enjoy the training and you really just need a dog with a playful and energetic demeanor. Size also is not a factor, as smaller dogs simply just have to use equipment that is adjusted to accommodate the smaller size. In the competitive world of dog agility, dogs are divided up by size and level of expertise.

You can do agility training for fun, exercise and a form of obedience training without ever putting your dog in a competition. It is important to note that most experts say that you should not have dogs less than a year old work on actual agility obstacles because their joints are still in a development stage. Dogs aren’t able to compete until their about 14-18 months old anyway.

Still, a puppy can be taught obedience skills and it is highly recommended that all dog owners begin training as soon as the animal comes home with them. Inexpensive dog obedience classes are available almost everywhere, and taking your pet to class is a great way to promote socialization. Your dog needs to feel comfortable interacting with other dogs and people and also obeying your commands when there are plenty of distractions around them.

After your dog has reached full development and mastered the basics of sitting, staying and heeling, agility training can commence. You can research this type of training and purchase some equipment and get going, but it might be a better idea to find a good instructor and take some classes. After all, they already have the knowledge and the equipment. Once you have established that your dog and you both love the sport, you can then purchase your own equipment and continue training at home.

There are many companies that sell agility equipment, such as Carlson-Agility.com. You can purchase dog agility tunnels, dog agility jumps, weaves, tire jumps and much more. They even have dog agility kits that are perfect for those starting out. One kit includes weaves and jumps, another includes jumps and a tunnel and still another includes jumps, weaves and a teeter-totter. You also could get a starter kit with a tunnel, two jumps and a pause table. Once you’ve mastered the obstacles in your starter kit, you can add some new obstacles to increase your pet’s skill level.

Cheng Bernhardt enjoys dog agility training. To find a dog agility course, or to find more regarding starter agility dog supplies, please check out the Carlson-Agility website today.