Do you have a high energy dog like a Border Collie or a Jack Russell Terrier?
Are you looking to bond with your dog through a fun dog sport that you can do together?
Then perhaps you should consider agility. It’s a great way to challenge your dog and build his self-confidence at the same time.
Agility training consists of training your dog to navigate through a series of tunnels, hurdle jumps and other obstacles with you beside him.
While some agility training is meant to prepare you to compete with other dogs in agility trials, our agility classes at Shadowbrook Kennels are for fun and exercise only.
Although agility training does require a certain amount of physical ability, it is not meant to be an outlet for your dog to run off his excess energy. You will need to have your dog under control in an excited environment and obedience training will help you achieve that control with your dog.
Before attempting agility training, your dog should be able to do the following:
Respond to his name
Hold a sit and stay for 30 seconds
Hold a down and stay for 90 seconds
Wait until you give him the next command
Come when called
Walk on a leash without pulling
Sit to meet a friendly stranger
Agility is open to any breed or mixed breed dog but the dog needs to be healthy and not aggressive. Some obstacles can be changed to accommodate different dog heights, so size is not usually an issue. While some breeds take naturally to agility training, we work with each dog individually to help them enjoy the sport.
Here is a list of some of the breeds that do well at agility training:
Jack Russell Terrier
Dogs usually start agility training when they are one year of age or older. This avoids putting stress on growing bones and joints. We start off by introducing your dog to some jumps at a lower height and gradually increase them and then slowly add other obstacles, like a tunnel or teeter totter, to challenge them even more.
Another dog sport you could look into is Flyball.
Flyball involves teams of dogs racing against each other over hurdles to a box that releases a tennis ball. Then the dog catches the ball and races back to their handler while carrying the ball.