6 Benefits of Agility Training
Agility competitions are something you've probably seen on TV! It's a sight to behold when dogs jump and run through obstacles. Luckily, you don’t need to compete with your dog in order to reap the benefits of agility training. Any dog can be an agility athlete! So let's look at some of the benefits of agility training for dogs.
1. Burns physical & mental energy
Agility is excellent for assisting your dog in releasing energy in a safe and enjoyable manner. Dog agility is ideal for all types of breeds, especially those with high drive and lots of energy, as it allows them to run at full speed while remaining focused on the task at hand. Not only does agility help your dog gain lean muscle but it also strengthens joints and improves coordination. As for burning mental energy, even a short agility training session will leave your dog exhausted!
2. Builds confidence
Dogs working alongside their humans is one of the best ways to build a dog’s confidence. While performing agility tasks, a dog will confront new surfaces, small spaces, and challenging situations that push the boundaries of their confidence. Your praise and rewards after every exercise, run, or session will make them feel good about themselves and soon their stress may fade. Their newly gained assurance even transfers to other parts of their lives outside of agility training.
3. Teaches Self Control
Agility encompasses more than just running, jumping, and coordination. In agility training, dogs must wait politely while other dogs and their trainers use equipment, then walk on a leash in a controlled manner to the start of the course. Once on an obstacle course, dogs must come when called, stop at stays placed throughout the course, and maintain focus in complex, and ever-changing situations.
4. Building on natural instincts
Agility training is one way to help your dog exercise their natural instincts. The sport of Agility was created to mimic a dog's natural hunting instincts, such as chasing down prey, squeezing through tight spaces in the forest, and jumping over fallen trees, among other things. By participating in agility training, you can help nurture your dog’s natural desires.
5. Builds trust between dog & human
Agility training improves the relationship between dogs and humans. This is because agility obstacle courses are designed in such a way that the dog relies on the handler to guide them through the course, and the handler, in turn, relies on the dog to complete it. This co-dependence strengthens the bond between dog and human by increasing trust, communication, and, as a result, bonding.
6. It’s fun!
Agility is an amazing alternative to just walking with your dog. Once you and your dog get the hang of agility and you see how well your dog does, you'll want to continue training. Running around the agility course will be exciting for both you and your dog!
Your dog won't be the only one benefiting from agility training! Whether you’re looking for a new activity or new sport to compete in with your dog, agility may be for you! To see the agility classes that our pet training program, Gentle Touch, has to offer, click below.
All proceeds from Thousand Hills Pet Resort support New Life K9s. New Life K9s provides service dogs to veterans and first responders with PTSD at no cost to them.