Choosing Dog Agility Training Obstacles And Equipment

dog agility training

If you are considering training your dog for dog agility competitions or even just for fun, you’ve probably heard of the word agility first. Agility is an athletic activity that originated in England, but has its roots in many different countries including France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, China, the Philippines and the United States. Dog agility competitions are very popular around the world. In fact, many obedience schools teach dog agility as part of a formal obedience class.

Agility competitions occur in numerous sizes and types, from small events for small breeds of dogs to much larger events for larger breeds. The larger events have more elaborate sets of obstacles, such as tunnels, weave poles and teeter totter. There are also timed events for the shorter, weaker dogs. There is also a sport specific to the dog’s size and abilities. This makes dog agility training very useful for working dog breeds, rescue dogs, guide dogs, hearing dogs, and other working dogs.

Agility Competitions 

A dog running in the forest

Some of the equipment used in agility competitions can be expensive and some dogs cannot participate without it. Some breeds of dogs do not like having a leash, so using a harness instead of a collar is the popular method of carrying equipment in agility training. There are many different types of harnesses and the one you choose should be designed for your particular breed. There are two basic types of dog agility training: loose and tight leashes.

When handling dogs on a leash, it is important that the dog control both the forward motion and the backing up. This is accomplished with short, inside-out step leashes and continuous lead and break leashes. It is usually best for dogs to be handled by handlers who have more experience in dog agility training and have worked with dogs on the leash for years. 

These handlers will be able to give their dog’s confidence and make the training process much easier. Leashes are usually adjustable, so handlers can teach their dogs to move freely with or without a leash.

Breakaway Leashes

A dog jumping to catch a frisbee

When working with small or medium sized dogs, agility training involves using breakaway leashes. They are much easier to handle than traditional leashes and provide a fun, unique training experience. Breeds of dogs suitable for breakaway leashes include German shepherds, miniature schnauzers and toy poodles. These dogs can handle both breakaway and continuous leads with ease. Their agility training will be very enjoyable

A Dog Agility Training Course

When handling obstacles on a dog agility training course, it is important that the dog is given enough training time to build up confidence before the obstacle course is started. The handler must first select several obstacles to start with and place them in a line. Then, the dog must be taught to walk through the line without pulling, stopping or turning its head. After successfully passing one obstacle, the dog must then work on building up confidence by finding another obstacle in the line and repeating the process.

If a line does not have sufficient space for all the dogs to walk in at the same time, breakaway weave poles can be used. These weave poles are constructed in such a way that they allow only two dogs to walk at a time. Because the dogs must find an obstacle to weave through, this process becomes particularly important. Experienced handlers make the most of this fact and carefully teach their dogs to weave through the weave poles.

Final Words

Some dog training obstacles may require more than just practice. These include hurdles, tunnels and weave poles. For many dogs, these obstacles are very exciting and provide the dog with an excellent exercise routine.

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