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Dog agility is a sport in which a handler is given a set amount of time in which to direct a dog off-leash through an obstacle course. Spectators continue today to get caught up watching the dog and handler's enthusiasm in their athletic race against the clock.
Success in agility requires proper training, as it is a game of physical skill, control, patience and, most of all, teamwork between handler and dog. Agility is a race against the clock, but accuracy is the firstt requirement. The Sport of Dog Agility Agility courses usually consist of jumps, tunnels, a tire, a pause table, weave poles, and contact obstacles. The contact obstacles include the dog-walk, teeter and A-frame. The dogs are required to have at least one paw touch the yellow painted areas on the way up and especially on the way down the contact obstacles. When performing the weave poles, the dog must enter to the right of the first pole and weave each one until they exit the last pole going to the left. If you want clean and fast weaves performed by your dog, follow article in Clean Run on April 2009 "A new Twist on Training with 2x2 Weaves" by Mary Ellen Barry.
The obstacles in agility have been designed with both safety and spectator appeal in mind. All jumps have easily displaced bars so that the dog should not experience injury should he misjudge and take down a jump bar. All obstacles that the dog must physically scale have “contact” zones painted on the equipment: the contact zones enforce safe training techniques since handlers know that dogs will be faulted unless one or more feet are in the contact zone while ascending and descending. All contact equipment surfaces are roughened for good traction in both dry and wet weather.
Training Tips You must be the center of your dog’s life – he must realize that you are the best thing in his life, and motivation comes only from you!! There is so much to learn, but also so much fun lying ahead! Please note that you might get impatient, frustrated and / or too eager, however, don’t despair – the stimulation and energizing will take you beyond levels you’ve never experienced, and your dog will adore you! It is however imperative that you practice at home.10 minutes 4 – 5 times a week is more than enough – remembered to always end on a positive note – play, play, play!!
Tools needed for Agility Toys (lots of it) and food treats (small size, cut it up) that make your dog excited – the treats must be REALLY tasty! A tug toy is to make your dog excited and get him to focus on you. It is important for the dog to realize that it’s all because of you that he is now having fun! A throwing toy is useful in working on the dog’s drive away from you, to make him run after it!
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