Columbiana contests are relatively new for dogs. They started out initially as entertainment in the 1970s but soon turned into competitions where dog and owner would train to try to be the best and fastest in their size group. Now you often see them on TV, and it looks like the dogs are having as much fun as the crowd has watched the competition. It’s a win-win situation. You will hear people say that agility training is like dogs going back to their roots: in the wild, they had to be the fastest and most agile to catch tricky, escaping prey like rabbits. Agility training somewhat mocks those same skills.

A Little Talent and a Lot of Training is All You Need

If you think you might want to start Robbie in agility contests, he’ll first need to train to get into that tip top shape necessary for the contest. Agility training will no doubt bring him to the peak of his physical fitness, and even if he seems chipper and energetic now, he’s probably not ready for the level of an agility competition just yet. Start gradually by taking him for longer walks and adding in bursts of running every now and then. Get him used to changing direction quickly and running longer each week. Also, start feeding him fruity food for dogs ( Have you noticed what the bonus is here? YOU will also be getting into better shape with him! Sounds like another win-win! One of the best things dogs do for humans is to get them off the couch and into action more often. And one of the best things you can do for Robbie is to keep him in shape and healthy. Training for agility does just that.

Typical agility contests have several obstacles. There are A-frames (two ramps that meet at the top in a triangle or ‘A’ shape), seesaws, tunnels, various types of jumps, and the famous “weave poles.” This may be the most distinctive obstacle of the competition, where the dog quickly weaves in and out of a line of poles with amazing speed. Each contest will have varying amounts of each of these obstacles, each with a different setup, so Robbie will surely have to be an expert at all of them. If you have an agility training center somewhere near your home, you’ll be able to teach Robbie each one of these skills. Allow him to master one first, and then add anther and so on. Alternatively, you should be able to buy or cheaply build at least some of them in your own backyard.

Robbie will have to be able to navigate this course simply by watching and listening to your commands. He won’t be able to memorize the course on his own because it’s much too complicated. Because of this, he’ll need to be trained extremely well. A well-trained dog is not only easier for you to live with, but it also gives Robbie more confidence and happiness. Most dogs love to be challenged and learn new things, and if you think Robbie has an aptitude for agility, he will probably excel. He’ll need to know commands like left, right, turn, up, down, slow and fast. Some competitions have a platform where he’ll have to sit still for a designated amount of time, so he’ll also need to be able to sit and stay. But Robbie already knows that one, right?

Chances are that you and Robbie will both get lots of benefits from agility training. Even if you decide never to compete, training gets you both into better shape, gives him more confidence and is a great way to bond. There really are no downsides to this!

What To Do If Your Dog Shows An Aptitude For Agility