THE idea of Agility was born in 1977 when Crufts Dog Show needed something to fill up spare time in the main arena. The main factors to be kept in mind were that it should be fun, without being dangerous and should amuse spectators so they built the equipment.
So the base was laid for the agility history story of Agility – King of Dog Sports. Today, Agility enjoys enormous popularity in Britain, with well-attended competitions every weekend during the show season.
The larger events draw thousands of competitors and attract huge, appreciative audiences – many competitions are televised. This enthusiasm for Agility has spread to virtually all of Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand, followed by the USA in 1986, making Agility a truly international dog sport.
Praise, toys and food are used to motivate the dogs from puppy stages through the advanced levels of training. Dogs are always encouraged to perform obstacles and never forced.
Puppies and Agility
Agility puppy training can start with dogs as young as three to five months! Granted, it doesn’t really and there’s a lot of playing and silliness – but really, at any level of training, isn’t that what agility should be for our dogs?
FUN! Puppy agility NEVER physically stresses little puppy bones; so our young dogs don’t do any real jumping. They step over small obstacles that are only a couple of inches off the ground. We do a lot of target work to teach them to work away at a young age. Target work also helps our puppies to have excellent contact control! Puppies LOVE running through the tunnel and we do basic commands that help them to go DOWN on the table QUICKLY!
Puppies are so eager to learn and so happy to please. They really pick things up quickly but the key to a successful training session is to keep the lessons SHORT and POSITIVE (kind of like their instructor!).
We also employ lots of rewards, from special food treats to toys and games (and lots of hugs). Once a puppy figures out an obstacle, they’ve GOT IT! And agility training works WONDERS for improving confidence in a shy puppy. The other huge benefit is the socialisation these puppies are getting with each other; in fact, I think they look forward to the play sessions the most!
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