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Dog Agility - An Obstacle Course For Your Pet

 Dog Agility - An Obstacle Course For Your Pet

dog agility course
dog agility training

Never heard of dog agility? Dog agility is a sort of contest for dogs where they must make their way through an obstacle course. They must complete the course swiftly and without errors to achieve victory in these contests. Off of their leashes and with treats or prodding by their owners disallowed, the dogs have to make their way through the course on their own with no cues other than verbal ones and hand signals from their owners.

These courses have obstacles such as ladders, tunnels and hurdles. The obstacles are spread out over a course generally about 1,000 square feet with the obstacles being numbered by the order the dogs are meant to complete them.

Complicated Courses

Owners need to coach and train their dogs to compete in this sport; the courses tend towards the complex which is necessary lest the sport be too easy for the dogs. Owners of the competitors will usually be provided a map of the obstacle course ahead of time and will analyze it in the hopes of coming up with a winning strategy for their dog. They will then train their dog with the particular course in mind.

The Score

Dog agility competitions are scored based on the number of mistakes made by the animal while navigating the obstacle course. The owners will usually run a long with their dogs offering verbal encouragement during the contest.

Knocking over one of the obstacles, failing to get through a tunnel and similar mishaps are penalized. Since the game is after all called dog agility, grace is highly prized in the sport. Time is also a factor in scoring, with dogs losing points for coming in later than the time limit (this is known as a time fault). The time limit for each course is based on the complexity and level of competition, amongst other factors.

Jumps, teeter totters and other challenges are all part of this challenging game. The owners of the contestants must also train along with their pets - this involves developing a skill set themselves. Dog agility contests can be a very entertaining sport to watch, whether you have a dog yourself or not.