Dog agility training is becoming more and more popular with owners and their pets every day. Not just any dog and owner can do it though. It takes a great amount of commitment by both the dog and their owner to become a great agility dog. Once your dog has become one though, it is a very rewarding experience and bond to have with your pet. Here are some tips on agility training for your dog.
1. This training must start early in a pups life. Not all dogs are able to do agility training. It cannot be forced. The breed has to be comfortable with extensive running and very energetic. You have to condition your pet from an early stage to be able to do agility training.
2. Make sure your dog is friendly with other animals. In agility training your dog will be around many other dogs and they must keep their focus and not be distracted from their tasks at hand. Start off early taking them to parks and getting them familiar with having many other dogs around at all times.
3. Make sure you have plenty of toys for your puppy. Toys such as ropes for tug of war and freebies for fetch, will help train your dog with building their muscles and keeping them active and playful. Also this will start the bond you have with your pet and the agility training you will begin doing.
4. Work on commands. If your dog can't grasp simple commands early on, agility training is not for them. They must be able to follow the simple commands like, sit and stay before you can move on to more complicated ones that are required in training.
5. Gradually introduce training equipment, keep in mind you want to keep this a fun activity. Do not put pressure on your pet because this could hinder your results. Try introducing tunnels at first, and then each time add one once they are completely comfortable.
6. Reward progress. During all these activities you want to reward them for all good behaviors so they feel it is a fun activity you are sharing together, not a job. Rewarding is actually a very critical aspect of agility training. You have to keep your pets mind thinking they are having fun and you are playing with them so they don't lose focus and remember they will be rewarded shortly for their great behaviors.
7. Set commands for each individual piece of equipment. Make sure they understand each command for that particular piece and they do not get them confused. Such as the tunnel, set a command for them to run through the tunnel and do not give that command to any other piece of equipment.
8. Never punish the dog for bad behavior or missed activities. If you start to make them afraid of doing a command wrong or they start to hesitate it will make it almost impossible to keep them in agility training. If your pet starts to show the slightest bit of shakiness do not do any agility training for a few weeks. They must forget the bad experience they last had and start fresh and happy to continue their training.
9. Watch your dog. When trying to do more than one obstacle make sure you keep them focused on their current activity until you move on. Do not go past the obstacle because they could just give up and stop the activity to get where you currently are before finishing it properly and entirely.
10. Have fun. The most important thing with the training is to make it fun and enjoyable for you and your pet. This will keep training on the easy levels and you less stressed.
All these tips can be used to prepare your dog for agility training and help them have a fun experience with you. Remember the goal in all of the training is not always to win but to further your bond with your pet and keep things exciting and happy. Do not get frustrated, each dog learns at their own pace. If you ever need more assistance there are tons of websites and books to help you and your pet to understand each other better and to conquer agility training.