Dog agility is a sport where the canine is directed by a handler through an obstacle course. The trainer does not touch the dog during these trials. No food or toy incentives are offered. The dog must be trained then beforehand to maneuver the maze of challenges. Agility training for dogs using toys is a great way to do this, and the kong dog toy offers the perfect blend of toy and food to achieve the training goals.
Agility training should not start until a dog reaches a year old, because one needs to protect their puppy’s developing joints. Basic training should be done at this time to get the dog used to the process. The commands sit, come and stay are a great place to start at this age.
Once a puppy reaches that first birthday landmark, the agility instruction can begin in earnest. One must start the pup out on a simplified course. If one uses a full size course before the animal has stopped growing, one runs the risk of injury. Modifications include lower equipment and simpler course aids, such as ladders and boards.
A handler needs to take into consideration the fact that each course user learns in their own time. Using food rewards and toys are a terrific motivator for shy or nervous dogs. All dogs enjoy treats so no matter what their challenges are, encouragement is key to helping them succeed. Also, to give your dog every advantage make sure that he is well rested. This helps focus and concentration as well.
No matter what the animal’s personality, starting them out slow is a good idea. Rewarding them with a Kong dog toy stuffed with a favorite treat will make them want to run the obstacles. Use this method from the very start for the consistently best results.
Teeter-totters used in the maze are a huge challenge for any dog. The motion of this challenge is unnatural. Canines need extra reassurance, rewards and confidence to master this hurdle. Also the weave poles will take extra treats and rewards to master. Remember each dog has its own personality and capacity to learn. Try to incorporate the intimate knowledge about your dog in the training for greater success in this task.
Once a candidate has conquered the how to within each obstacle, next the trainer must help them to increase their speed and accuracy. Continued use of the food stuffed toy will continue to inspire wonderful results. Making sure that the little Olympian gets proper food and rest will go a long way to success as well. Provide plenty of play-times as well.
If the owner is new to this sort of coaching, there are classes available to help out. In fact the wide selection of classes may even be overwhelming at first, so it is a terrific idea to talk to a professional to know which course to select. Many times seasoned handlers may want to train independently, because they already know the basics of how to do this. Using kongs for dogs in the beginning of a dog’s life will go a long way in training of all types.