Dog Agility is a team sport where a person (or handler) guides the dog through an obstacle course. The team attempts to correctly complete all the obstacles in a specific order in the quickest time.
Agility develops strong teamwork between the handler and dog. In addition, the dogs get both physical and mental exercise that is much needed in many cases. We have found that dogs of all breeds (and mixed breeds!) love doing agility as do their handlers.
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If I take agility classes, do I have to compete?
There is no requirement that you compete in agility if you attend our classes. Our main goal is to help you and your dog learn something new while providing exercise, working as a team, and providing a “job” for the dog. However, some of our students currently do – or plan to – compete in agility and we will do our best to prepare you for competition in case you decide you want to try it.
What obstacles will my dog learn?
The dogs will learn how to do the standard agility obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, the tire, A frame, dog walk, and the seesaw.
Does my dog need previous training?
We require teams that would like to agility go through our Basic Dog Obedience class first. This is to make sure that the dogs have an understanding of basic training skills such as sit, down, stay, and a recall. While our obedience class is designed to help any dog become a valued family member, the class will also prepare you for agility training.
How old must my dog be to start training?
We accept puppies as young as 4 months old in our Basic Obedience classes. After completing the obedience class, the start in Foundation for Agility 1 where they will be exposed to body awareness and other training that is good for any puppy to learn. We may ask you to wait before attending the Foundation for Agility classes depending on your puppy’s level of maturity. Jumps will be kept low until the puppy reaches 14 or 15 months of age and we will also adapt the other obstacles to your puppy’s needs.
Older dogs are also welcome in our classes. We find that older dogs enjoy spending time with their handlers and learning something new just like the younger dogs do. Jumps are kept low and we don’t ask a dog or handler to do anything that is uncomfortable for the dog. We do however want to make sure that your older dog (or dogs of any age) is up for the challenge since agility is a physically demanding sport.
Do I need a lot of equipment?
Many of the exercises in our foundation classes can be done with things around the house such as pillows, boards, food container lids, and boxes. We will help you with ideas as we introduce the exercises in class. As the dog progresses, some of the agility obstacles can be easily built out of items at Lowe’s or Home Depot although it is not required that you do this. The training facility may be rented for use by Cowtown Dog Sports students as part of our Student Practice Program.