As avid dog lovers, we enjoy going to dog shows. You can bring your dogs to many of them and they love it too.
In the spring of 2012 we visited a local Dog Show with our dogs. There was lot of activities for dogs going on, including having a try at dog agility. We decided to give it a go and we enjoyed it. More importantly so did our dog, especially Tess (she turned out to be very competitive).
So we decided to try one class… and two years later we are still going to "school" as we call it.
Dog agility is great activity for dogs and their owners. It is great for bonding as the two of you are working together. You have to give the commands and the dog has to follow your lead. After short while it usually becomes obvious who is struggling more... it is usually the dog handler!
When the dog knows the basic commands it is up to the handler to tell the dog where to go. He can use words but dogs read body language even better. So simple things like turning away too quickly can mean the dog follows you, not your command.
Dogs love to work and they love the combination of physical and mental activity. We have found agility help us bond even better with our dogs, we are a team.
Tess absolutely loves "school" and is actually pretty good at it now (in the beginning she was bit of a nightmare as she used to run off to say hi to all the pretty boys she could find). She is quite ambitious and tends to compete with the handler. She can be challenging to run with but always great fun. She really reads the handlers body language and can change direction on the spot.
Molly does enjoy agility too but does not see it as her purpose in life (that's still balls). She kind of does it for us. She is very accurate when going through the course. She doesn't make mistakes but then she is not the quickest! But she is always pleased as punch at the end of the course, wriggling her bottom and tail in all directions.
And it is good exercise for us too. We have to run around and it can be challenging to keep up with the dogs when they get the hang of it.
If you go and watch dog agility sometime, you will notice that everyone enjoys it, the owners as much as the dogs.
We highly recommend agility for those that are looking for mental and physical stimulation for their dog (and themselves). It is also great for bonding with your dog.
So if you want to do something fun with your dog, then you may want to check out your local dog agility class.