What is Dog Agility?
Dog agility is a dog sport in which the handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler is not allowed to touch the dog or the obstacles. Consequently the handler must rely on their movement and verbal cues to direct the dog, requiring both training and team work. Agility training involves both training the dog to perform the obstacles as well as training the handler how to communicate with the dog.
Who Can Play Agility?
Everybody! Agility is open to all dogs, regardless of size or breed and both young and old, athletic and, well, not as athletic.
What Are the Benefits?
Agility can promote an incredible bond between the dog and handler. The time spent training truly enhances your relationship with your dog and opens doors to a more positive approach to all training. Often it leads to a better behaved dog who is easier to live with because it exercises both body and mind in a positive manner! Plus agility is tons of fun, the courses are never the same and there is a lot of strategy involved. There is often a real sense community among agility competitors and it is a great way to connect with other dog lovers.
Agility Lessons PREREQUISITES:
A dog who is going to play with agility obstacles needs a certain level of stimulus control, or self-control. Attention, the ability to “watch” or pay attention to the owner is essential. A dog should have a basic understanding of how to learn. Skills which are very helpful are basic targeting skills, a reliable recall, a basic but stable sit, a wait, a down, the ability to make eye contact and the ability to function/learn with simple distractions
Agility for Fun: A 6-week introductory course for Pet Dog Owners who want to learn a little bit about what Agility is like. This class offers introductions to agility obstacles (I use smaller than standard size equipment indoors), including how to jump safely (kept low), a tunnel, a tire jump, a small A-frame, a low dog-walk, and a rocker-board rather than a teeter, and build up to 3-4 sequence patterns. It is a great way for beginners to learn obstacles and “get their feet wet” in agility.
The class moves along quickly in a weekly linear style, but I believe it is critical to build/keep both your’s and your dog’s confidence, so this will be always be placed ahead of ‘doing’ the obstacles. Safety is a primary consideration, along with confidence. I don’t believe in pushing a dog into something she is not ready for, so you will train your dog at her individual level as you introduce the basics. You should have a way to do some practice at home, tho it is not necessary to own all the agility equipment. This class can be repeated if you want to continue to gain more confidence and build layers in learning in your sampling of agility.
Price: $140/6 weeks, 1 hr/week
- More Advanced agility courses will be added as time goes on.
- Private and Semi-Private lessons available by appointment.
- Punch cards are a possibility during the nicer weather for those who have experience and just want to come and have practice training sessions with their dog without formal instruction.
Why Learn With Anything’s PAWSable?
Regardless of our vision of how our dog will act or perform, a solid foundation is critical. This foundation must be built upon the dog feeling confident in whatever we are asking it to do. The dog needs to understand and trust the process. We cannot ‘assume’ that he ‘knows it’. Dogs always do the BEST they can with the EDUCATION they are given in the ENVIRONMENT we are asking them to perform in. All of Anything’s PAWSable classes are designed to build layers of understanding for your dog to help him be more successful. Both group classes and individual assistance are available.