If you are aware of the traits and inherent qualities in your dog and you believe he is a breed made for sports, you should do everything possible to bring out the best in him. Competitions are great opportunities to stimulate the mind and body of your dog. You need to focus mostly on agility training when preparing your dog for sporting competitions, they will require some patients and you should start with the basic commands and even take your dog with you when attending such competitions. The following tips and steps can also help in training your dog for sporting events;
Get the Right Gear
Your dog must begin to train with gears right from the first training session, not only for self-protection but it is part of the requirements for enrolling dogs in most competitions. From dog jerseys to collars, leashes, harness, and feet protection, there is a wide range of gear types you should consider using when training the animal. You can find the most appropriate gears for your dog online at extreme dog gear where there are lots of hand-made sports, work and service gears for dogs. The products found on extreme dog gear are not reseller brands or cheap items imported from Asia, they are hand-crafted items made from top quality materials.
Contact Obstacles Training
Contact obstacles are the first set of training you should give to your dog to prepare him for competitions. The ideal obstacle training includes the teeter-totter, A-Frame, and Dog Walk activities. These exercises are referred to as contact obstacles and in order for a dog to complete the training tasks, he must be capable of touching a spot on one or both ends of the obstacles with at least one of his feet.
The dog may be reluctant to walk on a teether-totter initially, you may want to train him on a 4 x 4 plywood on the ground and once he is used to this, you can transfer him to the teether-totter. You can assist the dog with a 6ft. leash and then give him a command for each obstacle and make sure the dog touches the right spot before proceeding to the next obstacle. You can use your hand in conjunction with a voice command to assist the dog in the beginning until he gets used to it. Give the dog rewards for completing the obstacle training.
Dog-walking, A-Frame, and Jumps
The Dog walk, A-frame and Jumps training is as important as obstacle training when it comes to preparing your dog for a competition. Make use of a balance beam with ramps located on each end when training the dog for a walk. The dog will run up the ramp and across the beam and then run down the other ramp. You should assist with the appropriate command and hands to assist the animal to complete these tasks.
The A-frame is a type of exercise where the dog goes up an incline and then move over the top and down to the other side. The dog must touch the required spots to complete these exercises.
When it comes to jumps, you need to keep your dog on the leash always and start with the lowest jump height before moving to the highest limit. Keeping the on the leash will ensure that he doesn’t cheat by moving around or under the hurdle. If the dog refuses to jump but wants to move around the hurdle, then you should block his path with some barriers. Increase the height of the jump only when the animal is comfortable jumping over different height levels.
The Tunnel Training
Perhaps the best possible way to train your dog to pass through the tunnel is to make the tunnel short in the beginning and then have someone at the other end of the tunnel holding treats for the dog. Call the name of the dog to encourage him to run through the tunnel. Once the dog is comfortable using shorter tunnels, you may extend the length and even add some curves. You can introduce the dog to collapsed tunnels that he wouldn’t see through when running.
The Weave Poles Training
Weave poles training is probably the hardest agility training you can give to a dog. The weave poles will require some unnatural movement from the dog but there are tips to make things easy for you and the animal. Begin this exercise by placing the weave poles off the center, so that the animal can walk in-between them. Slowly begin the move the poles closer to the center which will force the dog to weave through them in order to get around them. Keep in mind you may have to add some verbal commands to this exercise to make it easier for the dog to perform the exercise. Keep moving the poles to the center as the dog begins to get comfortable bending his body frame to maneuver through the poles. Once the weave poles are in the right position, for the agility competition then you can increase the speed.
You need to be patient to give your dog that chance to succeed with all the training mentioned above. The well-behaved dogs in training are normally those that have been trained for months by their owners, hence you should give the dog some praises as a form of encouragement to complete each phase of the training.
Any dog should be able to learn agility training for competitions regardless of the age and size, but it is always better to train a puppy that is still growing because the older dog’s body may be slower. Do not force the dog to perform an exercise he doesn’t want to do, however, you can use voice commands with treats to entice him, until he becomes very comfortable with such exercises. Since agility training is an active sport, it is important that you take your dog for medical examination to ensure he can tolerate the physical exertion from such training. Agility training is fun and will make it a lot easier for your dog to become competitive.