What is agility and why should you care?
Dog agility as a sport traces its roots to Great Britain in the 1970s. It found its way to the United States a decade later with
the creation of the United States Dog Agility Association in 1986. Learn more about this fun and challenging sport!
Benefits of Dog Agility
Agility is more than just dogs running through a series of obstacles. Agility can have many positive benefits for dogs and their people.
Physical Exercise for Dogs – Most dogs were bred originally to perform functions that involved regular daily exercise. The more sedentary lifestyle pet dogs live now can lead to boredom and behavior problems such as barking, digging, and household destruction. Agility is a great outlet for a dog with lots of physical energy to burn. It can also help keep dogs lean and fit and strengthen their overall musculature and physical health.
Mental Exercise for Dogs – Boredom doesn’t come only from a lack of physical exercise. Dogs who spend their days in a home with little enrichment can engage in inappropriate behaviors because they need something to do. Breeds and breed mixes created to be working dogs can be particularly prone to more destructive behaviors when there is no outlet for their intelligence. Agility can give your dog a great mental workout by teaching them how to follow physical and verbal cues, navigate a course successfully, take direction from their handler from a distance, and learning how to use the different obstacles. Agility can also be wonderful for older dogs who may be moving at a slower pace but still need enrichment to keep them mentally sharp.
Exercise for Humans – Agility involves more than just your dog moving about the course. You will also have to move about the course as well and it can be a great cardio workout. Just as with dogs, agility is challenging mentally for humans as you learn how to move properly around the obstacles, develop a plan of action for new courses, and sharpen your training skills.
Dog – Human Connection – Any type of training can help to strengthen your relationship with your dog. Agility in particular can really build your bond as you need to develop a clear line of communication with your dog in order to successfully navigate a course. The more a dog enjoys the sport, the more they also come to see being with you as an extra special time and an extra source of positive reinforcement.
The Human Connection – Agility can also be a way for people to build more friendships and social activities in their lives. If you love dogs and training, going to agility classes, practices and trials will put you in a group of people who share your same interests and passions. You’ll enjoy a supportive atmosphere with new friends cheering you and your dogs on as you run through a course or a compete at a trial.
Boosts a Dog’s Confidence – Dogs that are on the shyer side have been known to really blossom into confident, happy dogs through training in agility. A dog that may be timid will learn to overcome their fear by conquering each obstacle. They will be exposed to new people, dogs, and situations with positive reinforcement which can bolster their comfort level with novel situations. It also can lead to them feeling more assured without clinging to their owner, as they will learn to move about the course at a distance to you.
A Great Way to Socialize Your Dog – Keeping a dog well-socialized with dogs and people is important for your dog’s continued behavioral health. Agility is the perfect opportunity for your dog to be around other dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds, and humans who enjoy being around dogs.
If you would like to get started in agility with your dog, Click the buttom below and get started training your dog with no time commitment. This is a membership course online.