Dog Agility Training Tips, Course and Equipment

What is Dog Agility?

Wikipedia defines dog agility as a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles.

Here’s a recent dog agility competition video by Purina

Dog agility equipment

There are many types of dog agility to select from, which can sometimes confuse dog owners on which one to buy. (Learn to create one yourself on a budget by reading this Create your own obstacle course on a budget, ) or you can also watch the video below.

When you are thinking of buying dog agility equipment’s, you should consider several factors of which the two majors are your goals and your dog.

What is your goal?

Do you want to develop a deeper connection with your dog by having more time together and have fun by doing dog agility training? Or is it to see how far you and your dog can progress with agility skills? And maybe joining a dog agility competition later or you’re eyeing to be an agility instructor.

Is it that your dog is timid and you want to develop confidence in him? Or maybe your dog is highly driven and dog agility training will help in want burning energy in a controlled manner?

This is some of the important factors to consider when purchasing your equipment.

An agility course is consists of contact equipment, jumps, weaves, tunnels, closed tunnel, and depending on your venue, possibly a pause table).

Having a full course of agility equipment in your backyard is not necessary to learn the sport but would be wonderful to have.

A contact equipment has dog-walks, A-frames, and teeters. It is a good idea to have at least one contact obstacle.

The motion of the teeter causes a dog to hesitate which is why many people select to purchase them.

If your yard space is not enough to fit a regulation piece of equipment, you can also consider an 8’ dog walk instead of a 12′ or look for mini-contact equipment that is available to train your dog on.

Dog agility jumps

dog agilityYou can have several single jumps but it is also a good choice to have a double or triple jump. If purchasing a double or triple jump is not feasible for you, you can also place two or three single jumps together to practice.

Eight single jumps give you lots of drills and exercises to practice and interchange.

Dog tunnels and chutes and tables are some of the variations you can add to your course. Tire jumps are very popular to have in backyard training. Agility pause tables are essential in our agility training program. They are your center and focal point for developing your directional commands and building distance.

Channel weaves dog agility

dog agilityWeaves are one of the dog agility equipment that is critical to have at your home. The type of weave you purchase will depend on your method of your teaching.

Is your agility class using weave chutes, angled weave, or straight lined weaves?

If your instructor is teaching a specific method, then it’s best to purchase the same type of weaves.

Dog agility equipment develops different behaviors to a dog. If you have a timid dog, buja boards are a great equipment to slowly build their confidence.

Contact trainers are great for back chaining your contact behavior, and they are smaller so you can bring them indoors for winter training also. (Further reading: Agility Training Exercises Your Dog Can Do Indoors )

And before we go, we want to share a funny dog agility video with you

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