Dog Agility – Your Dog is Reading You
Dog agility is one of the fast growing sports today. Many dogs and their handlers or partners (thats you) have tried running the agility course and found its more than just training and preparation, its fun fun and fun! Its amazing how your dog reacts to you, they observe you and test you out. If you as a handler or trainer show lots of enthusiasim and have a fun attitude with your dog running over, under, and through the agility equipment, your dog will too. They will never cease to amaze you, their expectations can far exceed your expectation. Incredible, isn't it!
A simple method of staying in shape is guiding or training your dog through the agility equipment, great exercise for your dog, exercise that is very benefitial for you also. Running and training your dog is the same amount of energy you would put in if working out at a gym or doing an aerobic exercise of some type. The more training and running with your dog, the better shape for both of you. You and your dog will develop more flexibility in your body, stronger heart, and yes lose weight and gain some muscles.
It is vitally important to be patient with your dog when starting on the agility equipment. Your dog might hesitate at first, but once you develop a team relationship and know each other better, your dog will trust you and gladly perfom for you. The key to a successful relationship with your dog is understand its strength and weakness, its abilities and limitations. For instance, a border collie may weave blasting through the poles without working up a sweat whereas your dog might just walk timidly through the poles. Every dog breed is built differently, so there are some limiatioins. If your dog performs up to the best of its ability and you both have a healthy relationship, then , there you go, you both are winners! Focus on your dog's abilities, not whether your dog is better, faster, and smarter than others, its more of a relationship that you want to build and cherish for a long time.
Confidence starts with you as a traineer or handler. As stated in a previous paragraph, your dog has great ears and eyes, and observes every movement of your body. A healthy positive confident trainer will have lots of success with their dog, because confidence is contagious and the dog will feel the effect and do likewise. Thats what teamwork is all about, to build each other up. Hence, the more confident you become as a trainer, the more confidence you instill in your dog to run,jump, and fly.
Any type of exercise feeds the mind, body, and soul. No matter how well, how fast, or how smart your dog is, as long as you and your dog run together through the agility equipment, both of you will benefit from the exercise. It takes quick thinking as a handler leading your dog from one obstacle to another without running off course. Timing and working together as a team takes lots of repititions and practice, and yes lots of praise. Excercise with a positive mind feeds the body and soul, enabling both you and your dog to perform well on the course, or just for fun in your own backyard, or a fun club/group activities.
Your dog can run and jump and perform the agility equipment because he is reading you for cues. Observe what your dog, as he is observing you. Start with confidence, have fun, and go train with your dog. Start out with fun games such as a Frisbee, tennis ball, or tug toy and find which one your dog likes best, then use them as a reward for performing a task, such as jumping over a bar or going through the weaves successfully.