We’ve had a couple of people ask us about the agility courses we offer and whether they’re any good for your dog if you’re not planning on entering them in competitions. The answer is YES! First of all, even if you don’t want your dog to compete, this is a great way of getting them fit and letting them do what their species would do in the wild – run, jump, chase! This also obviously gives them a great opportunity to exercise, and just as with humans, exercise when they’re younger improves their outlook in later life, as well as strengthening your dog’s muscles and teaching him better coordination now. It gives them a chance to use their brains as well, forcing them to figure out how to make the right jumps and turns. He’ll get smarter as well as fitter.
It’s also a great trust building exercise between you and your dog. If you want to be close to your dog, you need them to trust you, so training like this will give you a chance to teach him agility at the same time as teaching him to trust your instructions about the course and what to do. This will translate into everyday life as well in ways that may surprise you – you definitely learn the best ways to communicate with your dog.
And finally, well… the thing is, when you work with your dog on an agility course, you get a workout too! You’ll spend time running with them, showing him what to do, and helping him complete the course. It might not be a traditional workout, but you’ll definitely get some cardiovascular activity in!