Dogs are intelligent creatures and very trainable. I hate to create an exclusive club, but as with most sports, in agility certain types of dog are more likely to have success. Generally speaking, if your dog is descendant from a working breed and has a medium athletic build, then his chances of doing well are greatly increased. Most dogs can be trained and responsive but it does take loads of time and patience. A lot of your dog’s ability will be determined by his own personality and energy level. We often forget the number of hours of training that have been put into wonderfully trained dogs and should never think there is a short cut or a quick fix. Age can also be a factor to consider. Young dogs are excluded from competitions until they reach 18 months of age and shouldn't start training till they are fully grown. It’s also recommended that dogs older than 9 years of age start to enjoy their retirement – work free.
It's so easy to become cross if we become frustrated when our dog doesn't understand what we're asking. This usually results in a red faced owner and a frightened dog. Make a conscious effort never to yell at your dog and hitting is never acceptable. It will do a lot of harm to your relationship with your dog and make training unenjoyable.
Consistent training will always get result so giving up just isn't an option. Be consistent giving the same commands to reinforce the same action each and every time. Always reward your dog with some play time or some verbal praise or both for these properly performed routines. Consistency with regular lessons and a positive reward is the simple way to successful training. Training is a learning process which is never complete and your dog loves to learn so why would you ever want less than the best your dog could be?
Reward based Training -Positive reinforcement does much for your relationship with your dog and should be given every time your dog demonstrates a correct behaviour at an appropriate time. To use positive reinforcement effectively, find what motivates your dog. Perhaps it is food or toy, playtime or even verbal praise. Whatever it is use this motivation to achieve results with your dog and consistently reward your dog for properly performed routines. Dogs are creatures that thrive on instant gratification so you must reward them immediately for an action and you'll find that they will be more likely to repeat it.
Your dog will sense your pleasure in its performances and will seek to repeat this more often in the future with it's desire to please you. A kind word or a small treat goes a very long way.
So why not join your dog in a rewarding sport that plays into all that’s natural & necessary for a very happy dog..........exercise........ entertainment and satisfaction? All wrapped into a fast paced demo of adrenaline-fueled teamwork......dog agility.