You may have heard of agility or have seen it on TV or at a show. For those who haven't, agility is a dog sport that involves a handler manoeuvring their dog through a series of obstacles, including jumps, tunnels, weave poles, teeter totters and more.
Some breeds of dogs really excel at this sport, such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, who can slip through the weave poles with incredible speed. But the truth is that any breed of dog can do agility. If you were to stop by a local agility trial, you would see everything from Chihuahuas to Rottweilers competing.
Most dogs can compete in this sport, but if you have an older dog or a dog with leg or hip issues, it's best to consult your veterinarian before taking a lesson.
Agility is an activity that challenges both the dog's mind and body. It's great exercise for them as they run around the course completing each obstacle. The sport also presents their minds with a challenge, as they are learning how to do something new. In addition to learning new commands, they are also getting to do fun things, such as run through tunnels and leap over jumps.
As a handler, you don't have to be in top athletic form to run with your dog. Most people would not be able to keep up with their dog running at full speed, and that's where the training comes in. There are different methods you can use to keep up with your dog, or have them wait for you to catch up.
The benefits to agility training are numerous. First, it's great exercise for both you and your dog. Many dogs have started training at K9 Central overweight, and just a few months later have slimmed down. If your dog is already in great shape, this is the perfect way to help them maintain it. It's also lots of fun for your dog, as it's something new and different that they get to do. But probably the biggest benefit of all is the bonding experience that happens between you and your dog. It's an opportunity to spend some one on one time with them and really connect. Many people can't believe how much agility has improved their relationship with their dog(s) and say that they feel a much stronger bond than ever before.
At K9 Central, Into to Agility classes are starting soon! These group lessons will introduce you and your dog to the sport. During the classes, you will work with your dog on each obstacle individually until you both are comfortable with it. If your dog doesn't not interact well with others, private lessons are also available.
K9 Central is located at 2836 Holt Road in Bowmanville. For more information, call (905) 623-3940 or visit K9Central.ca.