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How to Start Training a Dog for Agility

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2009-02-10 04:27:07     
Article by Sam Nichols

You should start training your dog for agility while he is a puppy. But, it's possible to do it even if the dog is older. Getting your dog started with training should be done once you know if he isn't too old for it.

Knowing the age of the dog isn't enough to decide if he is too old. If he is still able to do it, the training age can vary from one breed to another. It depends on what his natural tendencies are, so there isn't one single age that you can use to decide on this matter.

But, even if older dogs can be trained, the process is much easier if the dog is still young. That's because he hasn't developed the habits and they aren't yet rooted in him.

If you do need to train an older dog, don't go into it thinking that he can't learn anything. Both the trainer and the dog should go into it fully committed. If the owner is patient enough and dedicated to agility training, the dog will learn much faster.

You can pick one of several methods to start the agility training. Some of them are presented below:

Physical exercise

Physical exercises should be the first things when starting agility training. If the trainer is interested in training the dog properly, age should be of no importance as long as the dog's condition is good. You can do some basic exercises with him, like hopping or jumping, to make him move a bit. If the dog is still a puppy, he can exercise much easier, because of the extra energy he has.

Allow him to play around

Just like you would teach a kid, if you make an exercise appear like a game, he's more likely to learn whatever you want to teach him. Puppies can generally go through chutes and tunnels, so you can easily introduce obstacles and tunnels into the exercise. You can turn the training area into a play ground where he can learn and have fun at the same time.

The puppy will be better prepared for agility training if you use this method to prepare him for what comes next.

Encourage his agility

If the training area is too small to put up obstacle courses, you can still use a number of different games to make him more agile. The training can be improved by using improvised walls and tunnels.

Keep it short

While dogs aren't as enthusiast as people about doing different activities, they do want to please their masters. You can't get them to continue the training if you don't give him a reason to like it. You can encourage him by giving him treats, patting him or praising, which should keep his attention to the exercise. Still, you shouldn't do very long training sessions.

One good rule to follow when you want to do agility training is not to do long lessons. It's better to keep them short. You can't teach him everything in only one lesson, so keep the training sessions short. This way he can understand everything without being overwhelmed with information. One tip is to finish each exercise with a praise, so always end it when he does something right.

It doesn't matter how young or old the dog is if the objective is agility training. It's all about how well he responds, if he wants to obey your commands or how willing he is to work on his own. It also matters if the trainer has enough patience with him.

Specialized in: Dog Training
URL: http://www.doggybehave.com
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