If you’re looking for an activity that engages your dog’s instincts as well as an opportunity to have fun with your fur baby, check out agility training.
Dog agility consists of a variety of obstacles in which a handler directs their dogs through obstacles such as tunnels, teeter-totters, weave poles, pause tables, and standard jumps. There are some competitive events for agility that require handlers to guide their dogs quickly and accurately through a course. Sounds fun and challenging, right?
The following are four main benefits of agility training for dogs, as well as why you should try it.
Benefits of Dog Agility Training
For Dogs1. Stimulating body and mind
Agility is the perfect way to burn off excess energy in your dog. Your dog will be challenged both mentally and physically as they run through a course that includes passing over and through obstacles. Your dog will benefit from agility by strengthening his muscles, improving his coordination, staying fit, and increasing his endurance.
2. Improved listening skills
Agility training is an effective way to practice commands learned in basic dog training classes. It can also be a good first step for dog owners interested in competing in professional competitions in the future. Your dog will pay more attention to you since he’s been used to following commands from your day-to-day training.
3. Enhanced confidence
Confident dogs are happy dogs, and the most effective way to increase a dog's confidence is working together. You will be able to reward them at the end of every exercise, run, or treatment with their absolute favorite thing (more about rewarding your dog here), helping them achieve greater confidence and self-esteem.
4. Develops self-control
Your dog will learn self-control by doing agility, whether they use equipment or not. Some dogs are crazy about tunnels while others like jumping and running. By practicing agility, they will know which course or task they prefer by practice and following your lead with their training.
5. Enhances a dog's instincts
An agility course typically involves dogs moving between obstacles of all kinds, changing direction, and focusing on an ever changing goal. Your dog’s natural curiosity and drive is strengthened and sharpened by running an agility course.
1. Handlers will be able to get fit, too!
Agility courses let you run alongside your dog, helping him navigate jumps, weave through poles, and crawl out of collapsed tunnels. An added bonus is that it enables you to get a cardiovascular workout that’s good for your heart.
2. Agility strengthens the bond between you and your dog
A dog can't complete an agility course without assistance from it’s handler. Because the dog relies on the handler's verbal instructions and hands-on guidance to navigate the course, a greater level of trust bonds the owner with their dog.