Starting out in agility? Or have you been at it a while and want to grow your skills and knowledge? Here at Devon Dogs we’d like to share our top tips on creating an agility star and preparing you and your dog for competition.
GROW SKILLS FROM THE GROUND
Creating an agility sports star starts with phenomenal groundwork skills, in essence these are dog training skills. Getting it right from the start and laying down the right foundations of learning is crucial. We have lots of great training events to help you. Check out our Events page on our website, email us at [email protected], or call us on 07717 696623 for help with selecting the right training for you.
MAKE YOUR DOG BELIEVE THEY ARE A CHAMPION
To grow the ultimate agility super star your need to make your dog feel like a rock star. Big them up, make them feel great, don’t knock their imperfections. Don’t knock them when they tried, and they didn’t get it quite right. Make them feel like a hero, a true winner!
DON’T BE IN A RUSH
Dogs can start competing in agility at 18 months. That’s a young age and this can put a ton of pressure on your dog and you if this age becomes somewhat of a marker. Don’t rush! Start competing when you and your dog are ready. Absolutely have training goals, without goals you won’t get anywhere! What we are saying is work out what works for you and your dog and go from there.
TRAIN THE DOG IN FRONT OF YOU
Every dog is different, what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another. The is more than one way to train an agility skill, so don’t get stuck thinking things must be done a certain way. You know your dog best and what works for them.
DON’T PUT THE PRESSURE ON
Oh golly! It can be so very easy to pile on the pressure when it comes to training and competing in agility. It can be easy to look around and worry that your dog isn’t at the same level as a classmate or litter mate. Let that go! It is your own unique journey with your dog. Savour every special moment. Enjoy the ride! Enjoy your dog and always remember the point is to have fun!
DON’T OVER TRAIN
Agility is tough on your dog’s body. Think of it like mileage on a car, the more miles, the more likely it is the car will breakdown. This goes for your budding agility star as well.
WHY SO SERIOUS?!?!
Agility is a competitive sport and it can be quite easy to fall into the trap of taking things just that little bit too seriously! You’ll have plenty of runs that will be unlucky and almost-nearly — it’s the way the sport is! A lot has to go right to get a clean run which is why it’s important to always take away something positive from each run no matter what happens.
Are you heading to Crufts? If you are be sure to head into the main arena to watch the world class agility. Our very own Lauren Langman will be competing, so join us in wishing her lots of luck! It’ll be truly inspiring!