Overview of most popular types of dog agility equipment
When you and your dog are ready to take your partnership up a notch, then perhaps you should consider a dog agility training course.
This type of training will test and train both your dog’s as your own communication skills, along with work focused on evaluating balance, speed and agility skills using a timer and a course with different obstacles. Dogs are tested on speed and need to meet certain course criteria such as touching certain places on an obstacle.
Dog agility training is available for all types of pure bred and mixed bred dogs. It not only provides great exercise, but is also a fun way to stimulate your dog’s mind. Families can also enjoy this sport together since there are classes for both adults and kids.
The basics for dog agility equipment and training
First, you need to make sure that your dog is in a healthy physical condition and is properly trained in basic obedience commands. Your dog should also be at least one year old to assure that he is mature enough to avoid getting injured. Most dog owners find a local group to train with. You can find such local groups through The United States Dog Agility Association.
If you instead want to set up your own course for practice in your backyard, here’s an overview of the most popular dog agility equipment:
Dog jumps include different instruments such as simple bars with stands and tire jumps that are like a hula-hoop hanging down. They are usually adjustable to the size of the dog.
Weave poles are lines of poles that the dog weaves in and out of and which are intended to test and improve your dog’s nimbleness and patience.
The challenge on contact obstacles is to make sure that your dog touches the proper place on the obstacle, usually painted in yellow. Contact obstacles come in different forms like teeter totters / seesaws, a-frames or a type of doggy balance beam called a dog walk where the dog goes up a slope across then down.
A pause table is a flat table-like object where the dog must stop for a certain amount of time.
Tunnels are either fully open the entire way, or collapsed at one end where the dog has to go out. The latter is called a ‘chute’.
To set up a course of dog agility equipment, you can buy complete dog agility kits or create the obstacles yourself with pvc, wood and paint. These home-made obstacles obviously don’t meet AKC standards, but they may be a good beginning as you get involved in the sport and see if you indeed want to make agility training part of your life.