Should You Join a Dog Agility Training Class? As a German Shepherd owner, you may be considering training your dog for agility performance.
But if you're not familiar with the advanced concepts, it might be a good idea for you to join a dog training class so that you don't risk injury to your dog or teach him the wrong methods.
It doesn't matter if you want to teach your GSD agility as an
extra-curricular activity or you're planning to go to masters level at
the United States Dog Agility Association, but an introductory training
class can make the whole process go so much smoother.
You may not know it but the sport of dog agility training has been practiced for more than a decade in the United States and in England, it's been practiced even longer thanks to a spark of imagination stemming from equestrian jumpers.
Training classes are fun for the owners, but he or she must realize that it often involves the handler showing the dog what to do before the dog will comply. And you may need to bring treats as a form of reward until the dog is able to follow commands on queue.
Among other things, a dog agility training class presents
the sport to the dog as a fun activity, rather than as a forced chore.
Many dogs often love attending a dog agility training class especially
when they're given the opportunity to work in a new environment with
ramps, jumps, poles, and tires that are often colorful and inviting.
Very important - a dog agility training class can give you
insight into the world of obstacles, scoring, and performance. When you
join an agility training class, your dog learns many things such as how
to race against the clock and the camaraderie and competitiveness
contributes to the animal's performance.
To be a part of a dog agility training class, most groups will require that you've previously attended and completed at least an obedience class for your dog. And many will ban your pet from participation if it's an aggressive animal.
Keep in mind that usually, most agility training classes will run about one hour once a week for a course of about six weeks. And in case you’re wondering, most classes begin with warm-ups and playtime to get the dog acclimated to its surroundings and ready to work.
Then the training really kicks in when the handlers get the attention of their dog and the dogs begin to understand what the commands mean and what to do when. The class may cover things such as jumps, teeter totters, dog walks or even the dreaded weave poles.
Some agility classes will be more competitive than others, so you may want to scout out the best atmosphere for you and your pet when shopping around. Agility classes have a lot of benefits for both you and your German shepherd such as exercise, learning something new and just bonding as you both play.
You'll get a lot of satisfaction if you know your dog is
enthusiastic about its agility training but just the act of doing it is a
great thing in itself. So have fun and enjoy your training and play
"The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his." -- James Thurber
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