Every year, there are hundreds of events that showcase the talents of dogs all around the world. If you've ever stumbled upon the live TV broadcast of an event like this, then you have seen dogs running around courses, jumping over bars, and crawling through hurdles. Pet owners train with their canines for hours on end just to showcase their dog's talent in hopes of winning an award in their canine companion's name.
Many dogs look as though the moves are effortless and easy to complete, but the truth of the matter is that dogs spend hours upon hours exercising their hearts out and practicing the routines their dog owners create for them. Dog agility training is just as much of a commitment as athletic training for humans, if not more so. In fact, dog agility training is considered practice for an actual, recognized sport in the canine world.
Whether you are looking to enter your dog in a dog agility competition, or you are simply curious about dog agility and how it all unfolds, then this is the article for you! Stayed tuned to read about dog agility training in general, what it means for your dog to compete in a dog agility course, and how to figure out if your dog is well-suited for the sport of dog agility. Without further ado, let's talk about what dog agility training is!
What is Dog Agility Training?
Before we tackle dog agility training, it helps to understand what dog agility is because understanding the sport will paint the scene for explaining why training is as important as it is. Essentially, dog agility, in the context of animal sports, does not refer to the agility of a dog.
It is common knowledge that the majority of dogs are incredibly agile, with the exception being those that are injured, disabled, very young, or incredibly old. With the outliers aside, dogs are incredibly agile animals. Through the lens of sports, dog agility is a sport saved for canines. The owner is known as the handler, and the handler guides the dogs through a series of obstacles.
The dog has practiced the routine time and time again, so the sport is more so an opportunity to display a dog’s propensity for memorizing instructions and recreating what they were taught. Dogs are not freely roaming and perfecting the course. Instead, they are playing out what they have repeatedly practiced over the course of many weeks, months, or sometimes even years.
While the dog is moving about the course, the handler is not permitted to assist the dog in any ways. This includes guiding the dog with hand signals, egging the dog on with speech, or any other way of incorporating an incentive into the situation.
The obstacle courses are not necessarily set out in the same pattern that the dogs learned to work with, either. Typically what happens is that the dog agility competition judges set up the courses in a way that none of the competitors, nor the handlers, are aware of the set-up prior to arriving at the competition.
This is a way of keeping the dog agility competitions fair across the board. If the courses were predetermined, then it would be easy for the dogs to be taught how to remember their movements in order, rather than learning how to successfully jump over any obstacle in their way, for example.
How Do You Know if Agility Training is Right for Your Dog?
Dog agility training is a personal choice. At the end of the day, you are the owner and it is very likely that you know your dog better than anyone else does. When it comes to figuring out if your dog is well-suited for dog agility training, we recommend taking your dog’s personality into consideration. Here are some ways of deciding whether or not to enter your pup into a dog agility competition.
In fact, the dogs and their handlers are not even aware of the material from which the course is made until they arrive at the location of the event. There tends to be a numerical order to things, too, so the dogs are expected to complete each obstacle in order. Dogs cannot tell which obstacle is supposed to come first, of course, so the handlers are responsible for guiding their canine companions along the obstacle course.
Going off of that fact for a moment, the obstacle courses are actually intentionally designed to be impossible for dogs to complete without the help of their human owners. If dogs could take themselves throughout the course successfully, then it would be difficult to actually say that the dogs were following orders with ease or completing the obstacles based on training. It would show nothing more than a dog's ability to run around and jump over poles, and dog agility competitions are far more intense than a dog park or playground.
How Agility Training Benefits Your Pup
Agility training not only gives your dog a sport to channel their energy into, but it also poses a lot of long-term benefits for your pup, too. The relationship between a dog and his or her handler is one of the most loving and respectful bonds of all time. Dogs quickly learn to respect their owners and view them as family.
They trust the people who look out for them and care for them, so learning how to agility train alongside someone they feel comfortable with is a beautiful experience. That bond only gets stronger the more often dogs train and practice dog agility training commands.
Let's talk about this benefit of dog agility training. Then, from there, we'll introduce two other reasons why dog agility training might be the best thing to ever happen to your pup!
Improve the Relationship Between Dogs and Handlers
A lot of hours go into dog agility training courses. The dogs become very close with their owners and their handlers throughout the entire duration of dog agility training exercises. The situation is no longer the way it used to be because the dynamic shifts. Instead of the owner being in charge and the dog following the owner's lead, dogs and owners learn how to work together as a team.
Dogs hold a lot of respect for their owners, and humans respect their dogs out of love, but when dog agility training comes into the picture, both parties learn to respect each other in order to reach their goals. After all, they have the same end goal in mind, and working together is what leads to success. As the respect between owners and dogs increases, so does the amount of trust they have for each other.
Dogs receive a lot of positive responses, treats, and words of encouragement when they complete an obstacle course properly. These reactions encourage the dogs to keep up the incredible work. Plus, the more confident a dog becomes after repeated dog agility training practice, the more secure the canine will be in their friendship with their owners. Dog agility training courses are all about trust, and going through the motions and practicing dog agility routines makes a dog and his or her owner even closer than before.
Better Behavior Patterns
You will notice improvements in your dog’s behavioral patterns as a result of dog agility training. Dogs undergo a process of learning skills they never knew before, and dog agility training is a great form of physical stimulation. Behavioral problems in dogs typically stem from a lack of stimulation, attention, or enjoyment, so dog agility training gives dogs something to look forward to! It also improves a dog's ability to adhere to and follow commands with ease, so dog agility training keeps bad behaviors at bay while helping dogs adopt good behavior at the same time.
Increase Your Dog's Daily Activity and Exercise Levels
Exercise is a very big benefit of dog agility training. Your pup will spend many hours going through his routines or her movements, all in an effort to perform well on show day. At its core, dog agility is a sport, and like all sports, there is a lot of physical exertion involved. The activity will benefit your dog’s cardiovascular system immensely.
Signing Your Dog Up for Agility Training 101
Are you looking to enroll your canine companion in a dog agility competition 2019? Before you enter your dog into a dog agility competition, you’ll need to take a lot of beginner agility training steps before throwing your dog into an intense competition. From dog agility training exercises to practicing with a dog agility training course, dog agility training is a serious undertaking. By devoting time and energy to perfecting your dog agility training exercises and practicing dog agility commands, your dog’s competition won’t stand a chance when the competition day arrives.
If you want to learn from some of the best dog agility trainers out there, turn to dog agility blogs. Many pet owners blog about their dog agility training experiences, and it can be a lot of fun to follow along! Also, another option for helping your dog train for an agility competition is to turn to the experts at dog agility training clubs. A good dog and agility training club will have the skills, knowledge, and experience to get your pup into shape, just in time for a dog agility competition 2019!
Once you decide that a dog agility training course is right for your dog, you can head on over to Google and search for “best dog agility training near me.” The first couple of search results will be the most reputable websites to choose from, so select a few options and start comparing their programs! Since dog agility training courses are location specific, the best dog agility training club will depend on the city you live in and what you are looking for.
Other ways to seek out dog agility training for your dog include taking a training class or teaching your dog at home. You don't necessarily have to invest endless amounts of time and money into your dog's agility training course in order to help your dog reach agility success. Instead, pay for one master class that will give you an idea of how to train your pup at home!
Competitive Canines: How to Get Your Dog into Agility Training Competitions
There are a few requirements that must be met in order for your dog to be eligible for a dog agility competition. First of all, every dog that enters the dog agility competition must be fifteen months old, at a minimum. The age requirement is there for a reason, and if your dog is younger, your little buddy will not be able to compete, unfortunately.
But the good news is that your pup will grow up in no time, and someday down the road, it will be their time to shine. Even if they cannot participate in a dog agility competition 2019, there will be many other opportunities in the future.
The next requirement on the list for dog agility competitions is that all dogs have to be registered as part of the American Kennel Club. The AKC reviews and approves all dog agility events, and they are also the source for the registrars of dogs competing in dog agility events. If your dog is not registered through the AKC, then we advise you to register your pup as soon as possible.
While you are at it, schedule an appointment for your dog to be spayed and neutered if that has not already been taken care of at a younger age. From there, as long as your dog is up-to-date on all required vaccinations, then your dog is eligible to enter official dog agility training competitions around the nation.
CBD for Dogs Enrolled in Agility Training
When you are looking into purchasing CBD oil for dogs in agility training, it is important to look at the ingredients and the origin of the cannabidiol being used in the product. For example, a product that is labeled as CBD but that also contains more than 0.3% of THC is actually not CBD. See, an abundance of cannabis products contain CBD, but that does not make these products a CBD product.
When the level of THC surpasses 0.3% of the product, then this means that tetrahydrocannabinol has the upper hand and it will invoke psychotropic responses in anyone who consumes it. The same goes for a dog that takes the product. The main difference between humans who consume THC and dogs that have THC in their systems is that the substance is toxic for dogs.
While a dog might not necessarily experience lethal effects after consuming THC, the cannabis-derived phytocannabinoid will seriously confuse your canine companion. There is little chance that your dog will ever have THC in its system, but when you take steps to ensure that your canine will never come into contact with THC, you’ll eliminate any and all possibilities of your dog experiencing the psychoactive effects of weed. For example, one way to make sure of this is by double-checking the CBD oil that you purchase.
Where to Buy CBD for Dogs in Agility Training
Innovet is one of the most trustworthy leading brands of CBD for pets. The cannabidiol oil used in Innovet products is categorized as full-spectrum, meaning that it contains phytocannabinoids other than just CBD. Full-spectrum cannabidiol is the opposite of CBD isolate, which is CBD oil in its most pure form.
Now, we’ve just spoken about the fact that dogs cannot have THC, so you might be wondering why Innovet uses sourced full-spectrum CBD rather than the CBD isolate. The isolated form of CBD is cannabidiol and cannabidiol alone, which sounds safer at face value for dogs than an oil that contains a bunch of different cannabis-derived cannabinoids. And technically, this is a logical thought to have.
However, the entourage effect explains why full-spectrum CBD is actually more impactful and beneficial for dogs than CBD isolate. The entourage effect is the name for a phenomenon in which multiple phytocannabinoids work together to enhance the benefits of each other. CBD is effective on its own, but the presence of other cannabinoids, such as THC in trace amounts, makes the effects of CBD even more powerful.
As long as CBD oil for dogs has a THC concentration of 0.3% or less, then it is safe and effective for dogs participating in dog agility training! The PurCBD+ cannabidiol products at Innovet are made from hemp plants grown in the state of Colorado. The phytocannabinoid cannabidiol oil is processed by way of cold CO2 extraction.
Once the CBD oil is ready, the product is triple-checked by a third party lab testing company in order to ensure complete and total compliance with the requirements of CBD manufacturing and distribution protocols. After the CBD goes through the top-grade quality control, it becomes ready for purchase by dog owners like you!
From cannabidiol oil and CBD dog treats, to small chewy snacks and swallowable gel capsules, your dog will be fearless on show day! To calm your dog’s nerves, administer the CBD product of your choice about an hour before your dog shows his skills on the obstacle course! If you have any specific questions about CBD for dog agility training, feel free to reach out to the team at Innovet. We can’t wait to help your dog feel calm and confident during dog agility training competitions.
Sources:How to Train Your Dog in Agility Sports
Agility for Dogs
Agility Training Exercises Your Dog Can Do Indoors
Our Guide to Dog Agility Training
The Best Dog Agility Training Equipment