Training your dog is an important step in ensuring he’ll be properly socialized and always willing to take commands and behave. But, in addition to traditional forms of training that teach your dog to respect you as the alpha in his “pack,” there’s a form of training that tests his strength and gets his body moving to keep him in tip-top shape. It’s known as agility training.
Agility training is an exciting activity for dogs, especially if they’re typically restless and bored. It’s perfect for canines who become destructive or unruly when they have a lot of energy to expend and nowhere to go with it. And it’s appropriate for dogs who love to be the center of attention and who actually enjoy being trained.
This form of training and exercise will test your dog’s athletic prowess and his intelligence. Plus, it will make him more obedient. But, most importantly, it’s a lot of fun for both the dog and his owner. Below are some of the other benefits it can provide.
Exercise for Both You and Your Dog
Keeping your dog in shape is an important step in ensuring he can live a long and healthy life with you. Agility training will not only build your dog’s muscles and help him slim down to a healthy weight, it will also improve his endurance and coordination because it involves getting through difficult obstacles that force the body and the mind to work together quickly.
But, in addition to getting your dog to exercise, agility training will also get you moving. It’s an opportunity for you to get a fun workout as you run along with your dog and guide him through the many obstacles he’ll encounter. This workout is sure to get your heart rate up, improve your cardiovascular strength and endurance, burn calories and fat to help you slim down, and build up your muscles.
Improve the Bond Between Human and Dog
When a dog goes through agility training, he can’t do it without the help of his owner. As you guide your dog and exercise with him, you’ll strengthen the bond that you share with your canine friend, and he’ll grow to respect and obey you even more. You’ll both learn to trust each other, and you’ll both be able to enjoy the great feeling of accomplishment after getting through an obstacle course with speed and precision.
Let Your Dog Be a Dog
A dog’s natural instincts include chasing and hunting down prey, but sometimes a traditional game of fetch simply doesn’t cut it. After all, a dog in the wild would have to jump over obstacles like rocks and logs, dodge trees, and squeeze in between vegetation like bushes in order to stay in pursuit of a prey animal. When your dog goes through an agility course, he’ll be going through many of the same movements he would execute if he were hunting in the wild. This allows him to express all of the natural instincts that are otherwise suppressed when he’s confined to his home, his backyard, and the dog park.
Despite all of these benefits, though, keep in mind that not all dogs enjoy agility training, so watch your pet to see how he feels. If he isn’t having a good time, it’s best to find another fun activity instead.