"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make
a fool of yourself with him and, not only will he not scold you, he will make a fool of himself too."
Agility is Awesome!
Dogs love agility! It appeals to their natural instincts to run, chase and hunt, with the agility course imitating the way they would leap, weave and navigate through a natural environment, running as fast as they can to catch their prey.
Agility training has fantastic benefits for all dogs; it's not just for those who want to compete with their dogs. Keeping your dog fit is really important to their health, and agility training is a great way to do this and improve your dog’s behaviour and overall wellbeing at the same time.
What makes agility such great training?
It helps improve your dog’s behaviour, giving them something to concentrate on;
provides them with new challenges to increase their confidence and stimulate their minds;
improves their ability to be off-leash by learning to follow you;
builds a strong bond between you and your dog, as he relies on your instructions and body language to negotiate the course, building trust and respect for each other;
teaches him that you are lots of fun and worth listening to;
It exercises your dog in a way that will tire both her body and her brain;
helps underpin other aspects of training and increases your communication skills with your dog, developing a common language between you and teaching you how to communicate clearly and effectively;
teaches you skills that will make you a better dog owner or trainer overall;
Most of all, agility is good fun for both of you!
Cynllan Lodge Dog Training Club is a great place to learn this enjoyable skill, and we combine time spent on obedience training to complement and support time learning agility. And if you have some experience already and want to improve, the club is the place to come. We split the club nights into groups so that beginners and novice and more experienced handlers can all work at the right level. Our member trainers are experienced at setting up training sessions and working at everyone’s level to make the evening enjoyable and successful for you and your dog.
At what age can my dog start agility?
A dog needs be over 12 months to start agility at the club. We avoid letting our young or teenage dog's repeatedly jump over obstacles. At this age, a dog’s bones are not fully developed and jumping can damage their joints. You can check with your vet before you start agility training. However, you and your young dog can always learn some of the basic required skills from an early stage that will prepare you both for agility, such as focus and good behaviour off leash.
What if my dog is out of shape/overweight?
As with ourselves, when we first start to train, we need to take it easy and not stretch ourselves too far. We start to learn agility with lower heights and slower speeds, building up over time, so we will take into account the ability and fitness of the dogs as well as the handlers. We always put the health and safety of our dogs first, so for those with any health issues, especially joint/back/leg problems, it’s best to check with your vet first.
My dog isn't a Collie, can we still do agility?
We have many different breeds of dogs at Cynllan Lodge Dog Training Club and, almost without exception, they enjoy agility. Although breeds like Border Collies are particularly good at this sport, which is why you’ll see so many of them doing it, they’re not the only ones that can enjoy agility and do well at it. We have retrievers, spaniels, whippets, terriers, cross breeds, mixed breeds and even a toy poodle that loves agility!