FAQ: Dog Agility Training

Which breeds are most suited to agility?
Most breeds can be used, but the most is are the Border Collie

Can a pet dog be trained in agility?
Definitely. Although many of the successful competitors are trained in the police and armed forces.

Which breeds are unsuited to agility training?
Large heavy dogs would find this exercise difficult and may develop long-term injuries such as tendonitis as a result. Older dogs should not take part either and in general all competitors should be in optimal health and fitness. It would be wise to consult your vet before entering into training with your pet.

At what age can agility training begin?
The first part of any agility training should be basic obedience training. In this sense, training can take its normal course of events until the age when the dog is fully mature. These exercises should not be contemplated before the bone and muscle is properly formed. Otherwise, you risk injuring your dog severely. No dog is allowed to compete in the UK until the age of 18 months.

Caring for your unusual animal
There are three basic requirements for your animal. The first requirement is food. You must know what and how much your animal will require. The second requirement is water. For some animals humidity is a matter between life and death. You must know exactly what your pet will require. The final requirement is heat. Because your animal will not be able to regulate its own body temperature, it will require the provision of heat via a heat pad or a light bulb.

How long does it take to train a dog to competition standard?
Depending on the dog breed and individual skills and the experience of the trainer, this could take anything from several months to several years.

Do dogs enjoy agility?
Most dogs will love the experience. If, however, you think your dog does not enjoy it, the rewards will not be enough to continue as your dog will be unlikely to become very good, or indeed to appeal to judges.

Do competing dogs require a special diet?
All dogs should have a well balanced diet. The most important thing is to keep your dog well exercised and not to allow him or her to become overweight. Dogs should only ever be fed after training and never before.

What are the most important points to train for?
Your control over the dog is of great importance. If a dog can react instantly to your commands then it is a good candidate for training. Above all, agility training should be fun for both dog and owner and should be entertaining for onlookers.