Getting Started in Agility

Diane Silver May 5, 2012 0

One of the questions we get asked most often is “how do you train your dog to DO that?!” The agility competitors you may have seen on television or at local events make it look simple as their dogs weave in and out of poles and traverse the moving plank known as a teeter.

Anyone can learn the game of agility. And whether you have aspirations of competing or just looking for a great way to get some exercise, agility is a fun way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

How to get started

Attend a local trial, join an agility club and take a training class! it’s easy to get started once you discover how to learn the basics.

  1. Check out an agility trial in your area to learn more about the sport, and you’ll have the chance to chat with local competitors too. Between runs, agility competitors are typically happy to share information with you about how they got started and where they train. Search for events in your area on the sites of some organizations that host agility events such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) and the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC).
  2.  Learn basic obedience such as sit, down, stay and come. In your first few agility classes, you may spend time brushing up on basic obedience before getting on any equipment. Your instructor can advise the best class for your current level of experience.
  3. Locate a training club in your area and take a class.  The AKC and USDAA offer listings on their sites.  Taking a class from an experienced instructor will help you learn to run competently and safely. The club contact can help find the right class for you.

Most importantly, have fun! Enjoy the time you spend with your dog and you’ll both have fun playing agility for years to come!

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Photo credits: Jump photo credit Active Dog Photo; Weave photo credit: In Motion Photo

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