How to Teach Your Dog Agility

If you’ve ever seen canine dexterity on TV, you’ll recognize it’s a hectic, exciting challenge for pets as well as their proprietors. But as enjoyable as it is to enjoy, it’s a lot more fun to put into practice with your canine!

Agility has benefits past workout: it’s fantastic mental excitement (for high-energy pets particularly) as well as strengthens the bond between proprietor as well as pet. If you’re considering trying it out with your puppy, keep checking out for ideas on how to begin at home.

What is pet agility?

Pet dog dexterity is a hectic, timed challenge course completed by a pet as well as their handler. Programs normally have around 15 or so barriers, consisting of tunnels, jumps, weave posts, and ramps, which the pet must complete in a fixed pattern.

Benefits of educating your dog dexterity

There are numerous advantages of showing your dog agility!

  • Great workout: Running, leaping, climbing, and weaving, and all at a fast lane, is bound to tire your dog out. Agility is particularly terrific for high-energy dogs that require a great deal of exercise.
  • Decreases boredom: In addition to providing a physical workout, dexterity supplies mental excitement for your canine, which lowers dullness as well as the harmful habits that can include it.
  • Reinforces etiquette: Canines depend on their owner to provide the commands they require to finish the agility training course correctly. Training agility raises the degree of focus your pet dog pays to you, and also strengthens compliance to obedience commands.
  • Enhances the bond between owner and pet dog: Lots of agility handlers comment on the raised bond they pity their canine as a result of training as a team.

Is my dog ideal for agility?

Dexterity can be done by all healthy, grown-up dogs however it’s not ideal for pet dogs that have been lately hurt or older pet dogs with wellness issues. If you have a puppy it’s important to start extremely gradually and also just complete an entire training course when they’re around 12-18 months old. You might also require to adapt or eliminate particular aspects, such as dives, for canines with joint issues such as arthritis or those susceptible to back injuries, such as Dachshunds as well as Basset Hounds.

Many animal proprietors locate that agility is likewise ideal for canines with common behavior issues consisting of:

  • Nervous or anxious canines: As several nervous or worried pet dogs obtain emphasized by not knowing what will occur next, uncertainty is frightening for them. Agility training courses can help these dogs, much like routine regimens and recurring tasks can. They catch on rapidly to the sporting activity and delight in the duplicating series, which help to soothe their nervous or worried actions.
  • High-energy functioning dogs: If your canine is a functioning breed, you might struggle to give them sufficient of an electrical outlet to use up all of their power. These highly strung pet types tend to discover dexterity both a physical and also psychological challenge, which can likewise help tire them.
  • Pet dogs that do not have emphasis: If you have a canine that regularly fidgets or wiggles around and also has a tough time paying attention, either in the house or in a training class, dexterity courses might be suitable for your pet dog to help carry all that power as well as help them focus.

Is agility suitable for me?

Canine dexterity need to be enjoyable for both you as well as your pet dog, so it’s likewise vital to think about if this is an appropriate activity for you. Dexterity can be fast and also angry, so if you do not have a strong health and fitness standard, you’ll wish to create a regimen of training exercises on your own that will certainly enhance strength and also increase dexterity as well as equilibrium so you can support your canine throughout the training course.

Make certain to take it slow until you feel comfy completing a program with your pup.

What to understand prior to you begin instructing your dog agility

Establish a base of fundamental obedience.

Your pet will require to follow your hints closely throughout the dexterity course, so review her standard obedience abilities, using favorable support techniques, consisting of sit, remain, as well as come. (Understanding stay is specifically essential when it involves the teeter board, where your dog will need to stay still until the far end touches the ground.).

Improve your dog’s interest period

Ensure your dog can maintain her focus on you, whatever else is going on. When you’re on the course, there may be many interruptions, like various other pet dogs, loud noises, and also, naturally, all the fun barriers to play with! Exercising orders like “Watch me” or “Take a look at me” when you’re out and also concerning can aid with this.

Obtain your canine utilized to different activities

Get your pet dog comfortable with moving in odd methods before introducing her to the real obstacles. Train your dog to stroll backwards, place her paws in specific areas, instruct her to step on top of points, climb over them, as well as crawl via them. Educate her to turn around an object snugly, as well as to move far from you, or to the left and also right by tossing deals with in that instructions.

Showing your pet dexterity in your home

Before you try an agility class, you might intend to construct your very own dexterity challenges at home to see if your canine enjoys it. Right here are some pointers on how to assemble home made challenges and show your pet dog the fundamentals.


First, be sure to ask your vet whether leaping is suitable for your pet. Specific types, such as Dachshunds and also Basset Hounds, can be susceptible to back issues, so jumping isn’t advised for them.

As soon as you have actually obtained the go-ahead from your vet, you can develop dives by laying a piece of plywood in addition to a few publications. Ensure your pet dog won’t harm themselves if they knock the jump over. Begin reduced, and also raise the dive elevation gradually. For huge breeds, start one to two inches off the ground; for tiny breeds, consider positioning the board on the ground to start with.

Tire Jump

An old bike tire or hula hoop ring can function well for the tire dive. Just ensure it’s huge enough for your canine to fit through comfortably. To begin with, hold your tire constant while your canine walks through it. You can slowly increase it and at some point hang it from a tree branch.

Pet dog Stroll

The pet walk is an elevated pathway with ramps at either end. You could try using a barbecue bench as well as place pieces of wood at either end for the ramps.

Some canines may wait to climb onto this obstacle, so you can try starting with completion area first. Grab your puppy and place them a brief range from the end of the challenge. Most of the time, canines will certainly take the couple of actions needed to get off. Then you can build up until your canine mores than happy with the whole barrier.


You can buy a children’s plastic passage from a department store fairly inexpensively, or you can make a phony passage by curtaining some sheets over chairs. If your canine is not sure about entering into the tunnel, do not compel them. Try to entice them with treats or by poking your head with from the opposite as well as calling to them.

Weave Poles

One of one of the most enjoyable barriers to watch, the weave posts typically consist of 10 to 15 upright posts that your dog have to weave via. You might use ski poles or PVC pipelines that you press into the ground.

Begin with the posts spaced rather far apart. Go through the poles with your canine on a chain to get them utilized to the motion of weaving. Next, draw your dog through the posts on their own. You can slowly relocate the posts more detailed with each other as your pet starts to discover the activities. Versatility is very vital right here, so take it reduce to ensure your dog doesn’t injure themselves.

Teeter Board

The teeter board is one of the trickiest obstacles for numerous dogs, as it needs a lot of confidence with moving things.

Start with low objects: get your pet used to points relocating beneath them, such as a skateboard, plaything wagon or a wobble board. Award your pet for showing any kind of interest in the object, after that when they placed a paw onto it, as well as ultimately when they stabilize on top of it. You intend to turn it into a fun game, as well as accumulate a favorable association with relocating objects.

When you feel your pet dog is ready, you can build your very own teeter board with a long item of wood hing on top of a pipeline. Once again, you will certainly require to proceed gradually, drawing your pet dog with deals with as well as praising them whenever they touch and also take little steps onto it. When they reach the facility and also the teeter begins to change, reward your pup with a prize of deals with for remaining on the teeter. You can eventually change to thicker pipelines when they’re entirely comfortable with the motion.

Where to discover an agility course

If your dog delights in agility, there are lots of classes you can enlist them in to enhance their skills even more. You can look for dexterity courses at an AKC Club, as well as ultimately progress to the Dexterity Program Test (an entry-level agility event) prior to determining if you wish to contend even more seriously. The United States Pet Agility Organization (USDAA) likewise provides a directory site for dexterity teams in each state.

Summary of dog dexterity training

Pet agility is a fast-paced, exhilarating difficulty for both pet dogs and owners. Dexterity training courses are not just an enjoyable task, yet they can be a terrific means to help show your canine obedience skills, improve your dog’s focus span and also assist with behavioral concerns like anxiousness by providing your canine an electrical outlet and also helping them burn energy.

You can start with standard dexterity at home by creating jumps, passages and also teeter boards or try your hand in a much more structured canine dexterity class if you and your pet wind up loving dexterity. If you’re ever not sure if dexterity programs are right for your dog, timetable a wellness examination with us to make sure Dog checks out.