Do you want to have a well-behaved and relaxed dog who pays attention to your commands and is a joy to be around? One of the best ways I’ve found to do that is to teach them agility. Both of my dogs have gone through agility training after having received basic dog training and, hands down, agility training is one of the fastest ways to teach your dog to watch and listen to you. And it’s a tremendous amount of fun, to boot!
Dog agility is a fast-growing sport that is becoming more and more accessible everywhere in the country. You can find training rings pretty much anywhere these days. Many dog training centers now offer basic agility training, as well.
There are all sorts of agility tricks you can teach your dog in your back yard with a portable agility kit. If you like competing, you can take part in many of the agility matches that happen throughout the country. You may have seen some of the competitions on Animal Planet or other sources. Animal Planet has links to many, many online videos of dogs doing agility – some are awe inspiring, some are funny, and all are delightful to watch. Even if you have no interest in competing, agility training is an amazing sport that does so many things for both you and your dog.
Portable Dog Agility Tunnel
As a new dog owner, here are just a few of the great advantages I found in training my dog to run agility obstacle courses:
Here’s a little video that shows some of the first steps you can take to begin to teach your dog that basics of agility.
If you are a handy type, you can make your own agility equipment out of PVC pipe using plans available online. Being the lazy type, I prefer to use the ready made portable agility kits. They're lightweight, easy to put together and take apart, and the ones offered The Camping Dog Supplies site come with carrying cases.
Many kits come with several basic agility obstacles - jumps, a hoop, a tunnel and weave poles. My only concern about the portable kits is that some of the obstacles, such as the tunnel, tend to be a little short for a large dog. But if you've got a medium-sized dog, these kits are just great. If you haven't ever tried this sport, do!
There are tons of training resources online that help you get started. It's so much fun! Your dog gets tired quickly and so do you. It's the best exercise ever for both people and their dogs. Try it!
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