Importanat for Agility Training

Share on 2019-08-10
Important for Agility Training

You would like to start agility training with your dog? Then there are a few important things you should consider.


Is Agility suitable for every dog?

Basically yes, but your dog should be very fit and healthy. Jumps, weave and also the contact zone puts a strain on your dog's bones, joints, spine, tendons and muscles. Before you start with agility, you and your dog should  visit the vet for a check up, in doubt, take an x-ray - so you can be sure that there are no complaints of the locomotor system. Your dog should not be overweight either.

For very large and heavy breeds, agility training is not ideal because of the high load of their weight. For example, when passing the tunnel (one of the basis agility obstacles) a very large dog has to duck permanently. In addition, for large/heavy breeds there is an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis.
A good alternative for large/heavy breeds, old dogs or dogs with arthrosis is the young dog sport "Hoppers".

A future Agility dog should already have a certain basic education, because agility is trained without a leash and your dog must remain leashed and on call.
You can start doing Agility Training with young dogs (from about 8 months) to practice small basics and introduce them playfully to the topic agility. With the main training,  you can start around 12 months of age when your dog's main growth is complete and the growth joints of the boils, which are prone to injuries, are closed.


Where can I train Agility?

Most dog schools and also clubs offer agility training. There are a few important things to consider when choosing the right training group: 

1. High quality training equipment 
Make sure that the equipment for agility training is in good condition, this reduces the risk of injury for your four-legged friend enormously. The contact zone equipment must be coated with rubber granulate and the tyre should also open if your dog gets stuck. An absolute "no-go" are hurdles where the bars do not fall down on contact.

2. A qualified trainer 
In agility training, you can do a lot of things wrong and confuse the dog by acting hastily. In the worst case he can even injure himself, for example if he is let on the high dogwalke too early and falls down.
You can recognize a good trainer by the fact that he introduces you and your dog step by step to the different obstacels and handling variations and he gives your dog the time to understand everything. Step by step, the learned equipment and changes are built in small sequences, so that you can improve your skills and finally complete a whole course.

3. Competition ambitions
If you play with the thought to start once on official Agility competitions, the options of the dog school are dropped, because only as a member of a registered association, under the FCI, you have this possibility.


Preparation for the Agility Training

Ideal preparations for agility training are balance and fitness exercises for your dog. These trains the body feeling and important muscle areas.

A few simple exercises are:
  • Elephant-trick: Here your dog stands with his front paws on a raised object (e.g. stool) opposite you. If you now move to the side, your dog should align himself with his hindquarters so that he is facing you again without leaving the stool with his forehand. - Trains the conscious perception of your dog's hindquarters.
  • Four in the box: Your dog has to put all four of his paws in a small box. At the beginning of the exercise, choose a large box in which your dog has enough space and reduce it more and more over time. - Trains the coordination of the paws.
  • Balance pad: Balance forehand, backhand or even with all fours on the pad, everything is allowed. - Strengthens muscles and the sense of balance.
  • Sit up and beg: Dog sits and lifts the forehand. - Strengthens the muscles of the spine.
  • Stand - Down: A smooth change between stand and lay down - Strengthens the hindquarters.
  • Out: Send a dog around a pylon. - An exercise that you can later transfer to the jump.