Dog agility is an exhilarating sport in which dog and handler work together as a team to complete an obstacle course.
The handler directs the dog through an obstacle course they have never run before in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives. During a run, the handler can touch neither the dog nor the obstacles. Therefore, the handler’s controls are limited to voice, movement, and various physical cues, requiring exceptional training of the dog and coordination of the handler.
Dog agility is a real sport that requires handler control, quick-thinking, confidence, and good communication skills between dog and handler. Beginners in this sport are often surprised at the great intelligence lying dormant inside their beloved pet.
In its simplest form, a dog agility course consists of a set of obstacles laid out by a judge in a design of his or her own choosing in an area of a specified size. The surface may be grass, dirt, rubber, or special matting. The obstacles may be marked, depending on the type of competition, with numbers indicating the order in which they must be completed.
Courses are challenging enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without human direction.
In competitions, the handler and dog form an “agility team”. The handler must assess the course (during what is called the “walk-through”), decide on handling strategies, and then direct the dog through the course with precision and speed. The team that completes the course in the fastest time with the least number of errors is the winner!
* Please note: If you received instruction from another dog training facility or have trained at home, you will need to set up an appointment for a FREE evaluation to determine which level of training is most appropriate for your dog at Club-Doggie.
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