Dog agility training is a fun way to exercise both you and your dog. Dog agility training has been in practice for a very long time in Europe, thanks to the idea branching from equestrian jumpers, and has been practiced in the United States for more than a decade. It is a good idea to join a dog agility training class to familiarize yourself with the advanced concepts, so that you do not teach your dog the wrong methods or put your dog at risk of injury.
Most dog agility training classes will require you and your dog to have already attended an obedience class, since many dog agility classes hold the right to ban an aggressive animal that may cause any disruption of the class.
Agility training is fairly specific, and if your dog hasn’t learned to come or sit yet, he may not have much luck with the weave or obstacles. Obstacles that the dog is expected to physically scale have contact zones painted on the equipment to enforce safe training techniques in that the handlers know the dogs will be faulted unless one or more paws are in the contact zones when ascending or descending these contact obstacles.
Overall, if your dog has the ability to overcome the obstacles of dog agility training classes, you may find you and your dog on the way to the master level in dog agility competitions. Success in competition depends greatly on the accuracy of communication between handler and dog, and on maintaining motivation through clear and specific use of cues and reinforcers (including the thrill of running, the challenge of favorite obstacles, play, and the cues themselves).
During a competition, the dog has to complete many obstacles, such as going through pipes and jumps, as time ticks away and spectators watch from the stands. For the duration of a dog agility competition, the contestants are judged on physical performance during the obstacle course, as well as on their speed while completing the course. Typically, as the handler and its dog take part in more agility trials, they will move up to the higher levels of competition. When at all possible, the handling organization of the trial competition will ensure that the agility obstacle course is not only safe but well designed as well.