Having a dog that is gifted in the tricks and agility department can be a lot of fun, great to share with friends and improve your relationship with your pet. Teaching your dog agility skills can be difficult, but no need to fear – Ruffgers is here! Here are some helpful tips, courtesy of Animal Planet, that will help you get started with training your dog.

Know your dog. Evaluate your dog for any structural impairments that could be affected by the sport of agility. Understand the temperament of your dog. Does he like to run? Does he get along well with other dogs? Is he a dog that turns to humans for guidance or does he find his own path? If you aren’t sure about the answer to these questions, find a beginner agility class to enroll your dog in and give it a shot. You will be able to tell right off the bat where your dog could excel.

Source: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/2-know-yourself/

Know yourself. Did you play sports in high school? Are you a natural born athlete? Do you want to grow to be more athletic so you can uniquely bond with your fluffy friend? Just like your dog, it is important to be aware of your likes, dislikes, and abilities as well as any possible difficulties. It takes a lot of dedication and consistency to train a dog but agility training can be as fast-paced or slow-paced as you want it to be. Find an instructor who can educate you on the art of agility distance control. Let your dog do the running and you stay put while still being the navigator if that’s more your speed. If you end up loving it (and so does your pup), enlist into some local contests!

Start early. Just like a child, teaching a pup the art of agility while they’re young is very important. If your fluffy friend grows up learning agility from the beginning, they will be sure to retain the information more efficiently. It is also important to teach at your dog’s pace. Tiny bones and muscles will be strengthening so never let your puppy attempt high jumps or climb on standard agility equipment.
If all these tips are followed, your pup will be mastering the art of agility in no time and you will find an activity both you and your furry friend will love. Good luck training from your friends at Ruffgers!