Did you know that the average speed of a dog is 8 miles/hr and that us humans are about half that? Dogs also require about two hours of exercise per day. Sure, you take your dog for walks and let them run around at the off leash park but what our critters really need in order to burn off all that extra energy is mental exercise. Teaching our dogs new things and giving them jobs to do increases focus and drive the same way doing daily crossword puzzles can help keep us sharp!
One of the ways we can create exciting and mentally stimulating challenges for our dog is through agility.
What is Dog Agility?
Agility is an obstacle course created for canines that tests both accuracy and timing. The owner runs beside their dog, guiding them through each obstacle along the determined route with only hand signals and voice commands.
History of Agility:
Dog agility dates back to the 1970’s in the United Kingdom as a way to entertain audiences in between more formal dog competitions such as obedience trials. Today, dog agility is practiced worldwide and we still employ a lot of the same equipment such as weave poles, teeter-totters, and tunnels!
Any age, gender, and breed of dog are allowed to compete in dog agility as well as any owner. There are many clubs and organizations ranging from beginner to advance that you can sign up with in order to start your training. You can simply train your dog in this sport for a fun and challenging experience or continue on in the hopes to compete in advanced agility competitions held all over the world!
Benefits of Agility:
There are many benefits that you and your dog will draw from dog agility. Your physical and mental exercise will increase as will your ability to learn a lot from each other. Working and training your dog is a fantastic bonding experience that you will both thoroughly enjoy! On top of all of this; you and your dog will get the chance to meet many other dogs and dog enthusiasts who share the same love of agility, and we all know how important socialization is!
Ask around your neighborhood and check out the groups online to find the best dog agility facility for you. There are tons of organizations out there that are sure to suit your experience level. You’ll walk away with a smart, well-behaved, happy dog and feel like a rock star for being able to train such ambitious behaviors! Maybe you’ll decide to pursue even higher levels of dog agility and travel the world with your clever critter! After all it’s up to you and Fido how far you will run with it!