Beyond Agility Equipment: Training can be Fun and Games
If you think your dog would enjoy zipping around dog obstacles on an agility course, then we wholeheartedly agree. Most dogs truly love dog agility and enjoy learning new skills on agility equipment.
In addition to practicing with agility equipment, every game and activity can be utilized to improve your dog’s agility skills. Dogs must be well-trained and well-behaved in order to participate in dog agility, but training can be and should be lots of fun. So in addition to learning how to use dog obstacles, consider a few other fun games that are sure to improve behavior and cognitive ability.
When you are beginning your agility training, it is important that your dog obeys your commands. A simple game of fetch really can help improve a dog’s ability to follow his or her owner’s commands. Dogs love to run after a toy, but it’s important that they learn to retrieve the toy and bring it back to the owner. Decide on a command to get your dog to retrieve and return a toy and then practice this skill. You can provide plenty of praise when the task is accomplished and perhaps, at first, tiny treats as a reward. Your dog isn’t just having fun; they are learning to obey your commands.
Hide and seek isn’t just beloved by the preschool set, it’s a game that dogs love, too. It also satisfies their instinctual behavior to search for prey. You can grab a favorite toy or perhaps a treat and head into another room and call to your dog. Your dog will have a great time looking for you and also will be learning to find you when called. You also can show the dog a toy or treat, remove the dog from the room, hide the toy and then bring the dog back in and encourage the dog to find the treat using a special command. Using the same command over and over will be helpful when you are using commands while training with dog obstacles and agility equipment.
Dogs love to chew on stuff and they also love to tug on toys. Playing a gentle game of tug is a lot of fun for a dog and it also teaches them obedience skills. Your dog can learn to go and select the tug toy, learn a command to tug and also learn a command to stop tugging. Be sure to praise the dog for being a good boy or good girl and following these commands.
Did you know that the average dog can learn more than 150 words? Teaching vocabulary might seem like something for humans, but it is beneficial for dogs, as well. In addition to teaching words or commands for using agility equipment and dog obstacles, teach them other words, as well. You can teach them the names of people and then have them go to these specific people. Teach them the name of toys and have them fetch a specific toy. As with any skill, consistency and patience are the biggest keys to success.
All of these games will make it easier to teach a dog how to use agility equipment. When your dog has a close relationship to you and obeys your commands, it is easier to teach new commands. In addition, spending a few minutes playing fetch or tug of war is a great way to burn off energy before trying out new dog obstacles. Once they’ve expended a bit of energy, dogs are more likely to be able to focus on learning a new skill.
If you are searching for dog obstacles, we sell just about every piece of agility equipment that you can imagine. In addition to full-size agility jumps, tunnels, chutes, teeters, a-frames, dog walks, pause tables and weaves; we also sell mini agility equipment which is ideal for small dogs and puppies or indoor agility training.