No, I’m not referring to how agile your dog is, Agility is a dog sport event where dog and handler run a course for the best time and fewest errors. But even if not practised competitively, dog agility is a highly stimulating and physically draining event that can keep your dog both mentally and physically exercised.
To get started in your own home, all you need is a jump and some polls you can stick in the ground.
1. Learning to jump
To get your dog to jump over a beam rather than go around it you want to coax your dog to jump over by leading their nose with a treat. Keep the bar quite low, so it’s not a huge obstacle to get over, you could even simply place the bar on the ground and slowly raise it up a little higher. You want to end up with a bar no higher than around 3/4 the height of your dog. You could go higher, but for fun play purposes this achieves a good goal.
2. Learning to Weave
Just like the jump the way to get your dog to start to weave through the polls is to lead by their nose. Let your dog sniff the treat in your hand then gently weave your hands in and out of the polls asking your dog to follow. At the end of the group of polls give the treat and praise profusely!
In the above video you will see champion dog agility trainer Susan Garrett competing in the 2012 World Dog Agility Championships.
Susan is one of the most successful dog agility competitors of the last decade. Since winning her first USDAA Grand Prix Final in 1996 with her Border Collie ”Stoni,” Susan has accumulated a total of 20 National and International Championship wins covering 7 different jump heights (8”, 10”, 12”, 16”, 22”, 24” & 26”) and has won two height divisions at a National Agility Championship on three different occasions. You can read more about Susan Garrett on her website.
You don’t have to be as good as Susan Garrett to get started. Have a go with this stater kit and see why so many people take up Dog Agility.
Susan Garrett is not associated with Dog Trick Training. We are including this information to help you understand the wide world of dog agility training. It’s our hope that anyone who is interested give it a go.