Why Teach Your Dog Agility? | Part 3
Welcome to the third part of – Why teach your dog agility? Check back to last week’s Tuesday blog if you missed the first instalment!
Watching agility dogs and their handlers running a course is an exhilarating experience! It seems so effortless and smooth! As you know this doesn’t happen overnight and takes a lot of hard work to get to that stage. But – we all have to start somewhere! And there are many skills that you can get to work on right away to start working towards this. We’re going to have a look a few here.
A great game to start playing with your dog is getting them to put their paws (font and back!) on different objects such as the park bench, or a fallen log – the possibilities are endless really! This helps to do a few different things. Firstly it helps get them used to novel objects and therefore become more confident around new things. This means that the big scary agility equipment might not present them with as much of a challenge when you want them to interact with it. Secondly it helps our dogs to know where their limbs are! This might sound strange, but is a really important skill for agility – for example in being able to hit contacts.
Working with distractions
Again, you can start on this one right away! A good agility dog must be able to work in the face of many distractions. For example people cheering them on, other dogs working and barking, some treats dropped on the floor by mistake! Start off small with this one. From getting your dog to sit whilst another dog is nearby, to throwing out some treats and asking them for behaviours, or working in a noisy environment – these can all help with this skill!
You can make small changes today that can help build the skills needed to be successful at and enjoy agility training. Check out the Devon Dogs Facebook page for daily tips and more. 🙂
About the Author: Molly Bridge helps out with some of the work in the office at Devon Dogs, particularly with marketing and advertising. She originally trained as a teacher, but some of her interests are brand promotion and customer experience. She doesn’t train dogs herself, but is quickly getting used to how the business works! Molly has two Standard Poodles and a Border Collie to keep herself busy with at home!