While it is very common to train your dog in basic ways, such as housetraining, obedience commands, and small tricks, it is less common to agility train your dog. Dog agility is a sport where a handler leads the dog through various obstacles, such as tire jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. More and more, agility training is becoming common for household pets!
Benefits of Agility Training
Agility training may seem like it is just for competitive or show dogs, but it is actually quite beneficial for all dogs! Here’s why:
- Good Source of Exercise
- Exercises Dog’s Natural Instincts
- Improves Dog/Owner Communication
- Strengthens Dog/Owner Bond
Good Source of Exercise
If anything, agility training is a great source of exercise – for both you and your dog! Agility training involves running through obstacles over and over, sometimes for hours, until your dog is able to perform the trick. This can help rid your dog of excess energy and give them a source of exercise. It is especially beneficial for city or apartment dogs who may not be able to run around as much as wild dogs or dogs who can run around in yards. It’s also a great way for you to get moving! As the handler, you’ll be directing your dog through the obstacles and can get some exercise, too.
Exercises Dog’s Natural Instincts
As you know, dogs’ natural purposes aren’t to sit at home in a house. Wild dogs are natural hunters, running after other wildlife and chasing and hunting their prey. House pets do not get the opportunity to do this as much, if at all. One way to help your dog exercise their natural instincts is by agility training. Agility training was designed to mimic a dog’s natural hunting instincts – running after prey, squeezing through small spaces in the forest, jumping over fallen trees, etc. By agility training your dog, you are giving them the opportunity to exercise natural desires that they may not get to do otherwise.
Improves Dog/Owner Communication
As with any type of training, agility training improves owner to dog communication. You cannot be successful in agility training by just walking through the obstacle courses and hoping your dog understands. By having to verbally and physically communicate each obstacle to your dog, as well as speed, direction, and success, you’ll improve the communication between you and your dog.
Strengthens Dog/Owner Bond
Just like with communication, agility training strengthens the bond between the dog and the owner. Agility training obstacle courses are designed so that the dog relies on the handler to lead them through the course, and of course, the handler relies on the dog to actually do the course. This co-dependence increases trust, communication, and therefore, bond between dog and owner.
From exercise to bonding, it is clear to see that agility training has a variety of benefits for both dog and owner. While it may not be a must-do for your dog, it will certainly help them be healthier and happier, while strengthening your relationship at the same time. We offer agility training courses at Canine College to challenge your dog and help him learn new tricks! We can help introduce both you and your dog to agility training and start the journey to all the positive outcomes that come with agility training! Fill out an online form or give us a call today at 781-767-3908 to get started.