AGILITY - Training for Real Life
Most of your dog’s life is spent free of a leash. Yet most classes are taught with your dog on leash. There’s no transition for your dog or you from leash to no leash.
Agility is a sport where in some organizations dogs run “naked” that means without a collar. In all organizations leashes are removed as a dog enters the ring to compete. How does the handler get the dog to negotiate the obstacle course correctly? All you have is your relationship, trust, your motion, body language and your voice. You have a very short time to get through the course.
Agility is so close to real life that everything you do in the agility ring with your dog affects your relationship outside the ring, and everything that you do outside the ring affects your relationship inside the ring.
Agility is a great way to channel the excess energy of your exuberant dog, build a relationship with your best friend, and can help a shy dog become more confident.
Of course, dogs don’t learn to perform agility courses all by themselves - we must train them. Didn’t you get a dog to have fun and share activities? Using positive rewards, dogs quickly learn what is expected of them, and they become eager to perform, knowing that a treat may be involved! Combining the dog’s desire to perform with teaching in small steps, progressing at the dog’s own pace, ensures success. Training your dog becomes fun, and while you are having fun so is your dog.
Gone is the need for choke chains, prong collars and the use of force in training “man’s best friend”. No more failing obedience class. No need to feel embarrassed because your dog is out of control. The frustration of the old method of training is replaced by having fun and building a relationship with your dog.
Agility is tons of fun, but it’s a lot harder than it looks on TV. The Jump-Start class prepares your dog, both mentally and physically, by giving her/him the kind of solid foundation that builds confidence and eagerness in a quiet dog, and self-control in a high-drive dog. Jump-Start is the first step in developing the teamwork that you and your dog will need before you step into the agility ring. For these reasons, Jump-Start is required before beginning regular agility classes. From this point onward enrollment at levels of increasing difficulty will depend on the progress of the dog-handler team.
Are you having trouble with weave poles? Does your dog break at the start line? The “intensive care” that is possible in a private lesson may be the best way to find a cure!