Dog agility is a fun and rewarding activity for both dogs and owners. It builds obedience and trust and keeps them physically and mentally stimulated. Invest in quality equipment that will stand up to use and wear for the long haul.
The tire jump is a fun and challenging obstacle that can showcase your dog’s precise jumping skills. It is one of the most popular competitive dog agility training equipment, but is it suitable for your dog? Agility is a demanding sport that requires physical and mental endurance for both handlers and dogs. It is also a lot of fun and can strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Choosing the right equipment is also essential for your safety and your dog’s. Many commercially available online obstacles and DIY plans for creating your home agility equipment exist. Some clubs even offer entry-level agility events where you can get a feel for the sport and meet other people and their dogs.
A good foundation of basic obedience and trick training is essential for a successful agility career. Some clubs require you to complete a My Dog Can Do That class before allowing you to participate in full agility competitions. However, positive reinforcement easily teaches the agility basics in a few weeks.34e
Once your dog has a solid foundation of obedience and tricks, you can start working on the more complex agility obstacles like the teeter, tunnel, and weave poles. It would help if you also had a firm understanding of dog body language to avoid miscommunication with your pet during the more complex handling exercises.
If you need help getting your dog to understand the tire concept, try starting with a small hula hoop instead. The rounded shape of the hoop looks more similar to the tire and will help your dog navigate it more successfully.
Likewise, the broad jump, which can look like a bar jump to some dogs, should also be trained gradually. Changing the height of your dog’s bar jumps can have severe consequences if they are not ready for it and should only be done after extensive practice to ensure your dog will be prepared for competition height.
The a-frame is the big boy of agility obstacles and a must-have for anyone training their dog for competitions or tests. It also helps build the agility and coordination of all dogs.
This agility a-frame is made from aluminum alloy with steel supports. This gives it an excellent level of sturdiness and safety indoors and outdoors. It can also be adjusted by shortening or lengthening chains to set the apex of the obstacle to whatever height is needed.
Many a-frames have yellow contact zones on both sides of the equipment. During competitions, the dog must make contact on these areas when coming down or else receive a lesser score. Training the dog to touch these contacts when going down and up is essential.
This agility a-frame is outfitted with these contact zones, and its height can be easily adjusted with a few clicks of the included hardware. It is also a lightweight and compact equipment that can be transported via its carrying bag to different outdoor locations for training.
Dogs need both mental and physical exercise. While walking is a vital part of their daily routine, more is needed for many dogs, mainly breeds with high drive and loads of energy. Adding agility to your daily walks can give your dog a more intense form of exercise and help them burn off excess energy in a productive way.
Dog agility training provides a great cardio workout as they run, jump, and maneuver through obstacles. It also helps strengthen their muscles and enhances their balance and coordination skills. Regular agility practice can also help reduce their stress levels and even lower the output of the stress hormone cortisol.
When preparing your dog for agility competitions, you must train with equipment replicating the actual obstacles used in the events. You will need the basic jumps (including a jump and tire jump) and the teeter-totter/seesaw, A-frame, and the dog walk, a series of planks your dog must climb. These can be purchased in kits that are easy to assemble and pack for compact storage.
Dog agility training can build confidence for dogs with fear issues. Whether it’s fear of men, other dogs, or moving objects, learning to overcome these obstacles will help your dog feel less overwhelmed by the challenges in day-to-day life.
One of the more challenging agility obstacles to master is the seesaw, also known as the teeter-totter. This is because it is both a moving object and can make a loud noise when it drops. Nevertheless, with patience and practice, your dog can learn to conquer this obstacle and become more confident in facing other, more intimidating obstacles.
Most agility handlers will tell you that the weave poles are the most challenging part of the course. With patience, perseverance, and the right tools, though, you can help your dog master this challenging obstacle.
The best weave poles are made of durable materials that withstand frequent use and rugged outdoor weather. They should also be easy to assemble and fold down for transport. These versatile sets can be used at home and on the go and are compatible with many different training drills.
Whether you want to train for competition or practice at home, affordable weave poles are a great option. They are lightweight, sturdy, and brightly colored (much easier for your dog to see). Easily set up into V-weaves or channel-weaves with the base connector pieces included.
This set of six versatile weave poles is an ideal no-frills purchase. They feature 24″ pole spacing that meets the requirements for most agility venues. It also includes free decorative tape and easy assembly instructions.