Need for Speed – Agility!

_DSC2706                                                                                                                       Diane & Hershey competing in agility


In part two of our blog series on dog sports, we’re talking about a need…. a need for speed that is! Agility is a great sport for dogs that have energy to burn! All dogs (no pun intended) are allowed to compete in agility competition — including mix breeds.

Made up of ever-changing courses of jumps, tunnels, teeter totter, A-frame, weave poles and dog walk, dogs must navigate through accurately (not dropping bars on the jumps or taking an incorrect entrance into a tunnel for example) as well as quickly. Each level of competition has a maximum course time that must be met in order to qualify. There are standard courses (course made of up the obstacles listed above) as well as game courses such as jumpers (made up of only jumps or jumps with weave poles) and, in other venues, my favorite game — tunnellers. This course is strictly made up of a series of tunnels that the dog must perform in the correct sequence. When I first started competing, I thought the class should have been named “Run Handler Run!” as the handler has to be fast enough to give the dog the instructions he needs before the dog decides to take another tunnel instead!

Agility is not only great for exercising (for both the dog and handler) but it is a great way to build confidence in your dog. I often suggest agility for those dogs that did not come with alot of natural self-confidence. They are so proud of themselves when they master the obstacles…. and that confidence radiates within them and carries over to other behaviors as well!

Does your dog have a need for speed?

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