Preparing Your Dog for the Demands of Dog Agility Training

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Preparing Your Dog for the Demands of Dog Agility Training

Bericht van Danny op do 5 nov 2009 - 3:22

Any human or beast about to embark on a new endeavor needs to be prepared in order to perform. Here are some ways to be sure your dog is ready to take agility training classes.

It might be best to start with a general, basic obedience class. Agility training is fairly specific, and if your dog hasnít learned to come or sit yet, he may not have much luck with the weave or obstacles. Also, taking an obedience class allows you to know your dogís temperament and attention span.

Agility training is good exercise for the dog and his human, and furthering your dogís fitness might be one of your goals for the training. But, if your dog has been very sedentary, itís a good idea to ease him into a gentle, regular exercise routine before hitting the agility course. Agility involves jumping, quick turns, balance, and running. Itís not fair to make a couch potato dog jump into a full-on boot camp.

Pay attention to how your dog responds physically to the training. He may be more tired or hungrier than usual, so you need to act accordingly. Of course, lots of fresh, cool water is always a necessity, but never more so than when a dog is trying a new skill. Also, donít skimp on the quality of dog food. Some foods are full of fillers, and donít really provide the nutrients an active dog needs.

When youíve begun a new exercise routine, you occasionally have sore muscles or blisters. The same risks lurk for your dog. Check the pads on his paws, in particular. The turning and different surfaces involved in agility training could cause sore or abraded paws. Give your dog a quick once over every day to make sure he has no cuts or bruises.

Does your dog suddenly seem listless? Or is he regressing, and exhibiting undesirable behaviors that have previously not been a problem? It could be that the new routine is too much, too soon. See if you can ease into training, attending only once or twice a week to start.

Donít let the dog get overheated. When choosing a training facility, be sure itís well ventilated and kept at a comfortable temperature for lots of exercising dogs. Evening or morning classes might be better than those during the heat of the day.

Research agility training ahead of time so that you have a realistic idea of what to expect from your dog, and so that you understand your responsibilities toward your dog.


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