What is Agility?
According to the American Kennel Club, Agility is an athletic event that demonstrates a dog’s willingness and ability to navigate a variety of obstacles at the instruction of its handler.
Your average customer might not be interested in competing in dog sports. However, Agility training does not have to be competitive. Your customers can get the benefits of Agility training without spending hundreds of dollars for professional training and equipment. Dog Games Agility Starter Kit allows customers to bring a beginner Agility course to their own backyard.
Read on for useful information to pass on to customers about the Dog Games Agility Starter Kit.
Why Teach the Family Dog Agility?
Not interested in Agility competitions? There are still plenty of reasons to try out this sport with your dog. Agility training is a fun way to practice obedience and teach your dog to focus on your instructions, not to mention a great workout for your dogs mind and body.
Try agility in your own backyard with our Dog Games Dog Agility Starter Kit. Start by introducing your dog to each obstacle separately, and make sure to have LOTS of treats on hand. Never force a dog to do any of the obstacles. You want to make each obstacle a fun positive experience. The best way to do this is by baiting your dog over, through, or around obstacles with treats or toys.
High Jump – Adjust the jump to an appropriate height for your dog. Show your dog the treat and guide him over the bar, using a verbal command such as “jump” or “over”. Offer treats, toys and praise for a successful jump!
Open Tunnel – Start with the tunnel scrunched up to make it very short and less intimidating. Bait your dog through the tunnel with a treat, using the verbal command “tunnel”. Once you’ve shown your dog that a treat is waiting at the other end of the tunnel, gradually extend it to full length.
Pause Box – The pause box is meant to simulate the pause table in Agility. Dogs are asked to lay on the table for a 5 second pause. Begin by treating your dog for having all four paws inside the box. Use a verbal command such as “table” or “box” for this obstacle. Once your dog knows to stand inside the box boundaries, ask for a sit and stay inside the box before treating. When your dog knows to sit and stay inside the box, progress to a down and stay in the box.
Weave Poles – This is a difficult obstacle for most dogs to learn. Instead of putting the weave poles in a straight line, start by staggering them.
They should be placed so that rather than having to weave through the poles, your dog can almost just walk straight through the channel in between them. Hold a treat in front of your dog, give the verbal command “weave”, and guide your dog through the channel – treating at the end.Gradually make the channel smaller so that your dog has to weave through the poles.
It will probably take a lot of practice before your dog is able to weave through the poles when they are in a straight line.
Agility Course – When your dog is comfortable with each obstacle, start to combine two or more obstacles to make a course. Work on keeping your dogs attention as you direct him or her from one obstacle to the next and reward your dog at the end of the sequence.
Agility training can be tailored to suit any dogs age, breed, fitness level, and physical ability.
Until about 9 months of age, dog’s bones, muscles, and joints are still developing. At this time, jumps should be kept very low to avoid putting stress on puppies’ growing bodies. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, the developmental stage may be longer – so check with your vet before raising the bar. Obstacles can and should also be altered for dogs with back problems or breeds that are prone to back issues. Along with lowering jumps, you can put more space in between weave poles to avoid stressing your dog’s back.