Dog agility is a popular canine sport in which a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as a tunnel, teeter-totter, tire jump, weave poles, pause table, and standard jumps. During competitive agility events, handlers attempt to navigate dogs through a course as quickly and as accurately as they can.
Here are some of the main benefits of agility training for your dog and why you should try it.
Agility will fulfill your dog’s natural instincts
In the wild, dogs are natural hunters, chasing and running after a variety of prey. While in pursuit of food, dogs must often follow rabbits and foxes through a forest and navigate through a variety of barriers. Their natural instincts involve jumping over fallen logs, climbing up steep slopes, and squeezing through bushes and vegetation. Agility courses are designed to mimic these types of natural scenarios and fulfil the hunting and chasing desires of your dog.
Agility is a great way to get rid of your dog’s excess energy. Running through a course that involves passing over and through a variety of obstacles will challenge him mentally and physically, strengthening muscles, improving coordination, keeping him fit, and increasing his endurance.
Keeps you fit too
As the handler, you will be running alongside your dog, and assisting him with jumps, weaving through poles, and crawling out of collapsed tunnels. While you and your dog compete to swiftly finish the course, you will be treated to a heart-healthy cardio workout designed to increase endurance burn calories quickly.
Agility helps strengthen the bond between you and your dog
Agility courses are set up so that dogs would not be able to complete them without the help of the handler. As the dog must rely on the verbal and hand instructions from the handler in order to navigate the course, the trust between owner and dog improves tenfold. Helping your dog to pass through agility obstacles will help reinforce basic obedience commands, improve the communication between the two of you, and ultimately help to improve your dog’s behaviour outside of the agility course.