Agility is one of the more active dog sports that can help to keep both you and your dog fit. It’s great fun and anyone can do it, regardless of age!
Throughout training handlers teach their dogs to navigate over and through a number of obstacles. When handlers feel ready, there are competitions held throughout the country where handlers and their dogs abilities are tested.
All sorts of dogs can do agility, they don’t have to be a pedigree or of ‘pure breed’, just a desire to have fun with you. Agility is physically demanding for dogs, so it is highly advised that dogs are fit and healthy before commencing training. Dogs must also be 12 months old to begin agility training to allow them to finish growing and prevent unnecessary strain during this crucial period.
As dogs run off lead during the training exercises, it is a necessity that every dog has some obedience. Every dog should be able to do basic behaviours such as a sit and down, have a good recall, and it will also come in very handy if your dog has a wait. There are other behaviours and tricks that you can teach your dog to prepare them for agility training, such as turning left and right, nose touch, walking backwards, racing to a dead toy/food bowl, games that build the desire to work with you and other foundation exercises (see here for an introduction to foundation work for agility).
If you would like to take up agility with your dog and are thinking of joining the Lichfield and District Dog Training Society, please call Anna Allan, the agility coordinator for the club, to discuss coming along to one of the classes.