Dog agility is one of those activities that yields many different rewards and each team reaps different ones. But one reward that every team reaps is that of mental as well as physical exercise. Don’t underestimate the value of mental work for your dog either. Sometimes it can tire them out better than the physical aspect. You may ask how that is. Here are some ways:
- Problem solving Your dog is constantly using problem solving when working on their dog agility with you. And you are working even harder helping your dog find the correct answers to their dilemmas. For example, when your dog is not responding to some part of your training, you have to problem solve to find the root of the problem then find the solution to make the training work. All this while your dog is trying to solve the problem as well, case in point, weave poles!
- Memory tricks You may not think of your agility training as “trick” training, but for the dog there really is no difference. We are teaching them how to negotiate on, around, over and through a collection of obstacles and we expect them to remember how to do so each time they are asked. Weaves, tunnel, table, teeter, tire, weaves, a-frame are all prime examples. It can be a memory trick for you to remember lines and courses. It keeps both dog and handler thinking.
- Positive Thinking This can prove to be too much work some days, but the dividends are huge. Your dog wakes up everyday positive. It is up to us to keep the training and trialing upbeat and positive as well. After all, we are in this sport to have fun and it’s hard to find anyone having fun while being negative. By keeping positive, you make agility a great time for your dog, and more relaxing for you.
- Yes, I said relaxing Like positive thinking, some days are not as relaxing as others. Just keep in mind that even though agility is a challenge, and can be competitive, it is also soothing. It is all about you and your dog working as a team like a well-oiled machine. It is a great time to let the stress of your day melt away as you and your dog move around a course having fun with dog agility.
We admit that we originally aimed this at our dogs, however, agility is a great way to work out your body and mind as well. And it is all done while building a stronger bond with your dog. Run fast, everybody!