Rules of the Game
Watch him zigzag through weave poles, run through tunnels, and jump over hurdles. Sometimes he has to ride a seesaw to test his balance. Different courses will use different obstacles. The object of the sport is for your dog to run the course in the fastest time. If he misses a weave pole, knocks down a hurdle, or makes some other kind of mistake, then he will be penalized and receive a fault. The job of his handler is to direct him around the obstacles, but the handler may not touch him, use a leash, or offer him treats. The winner is the fastest dog with the fewest faults.
Start Agility Training Young
Agility training is fun and beneficial for puppies, too! Your Dal must be fully grown to compete, but agility training can begin when he is still a puppy. Puppies learn faster when they’re exposed to a variety of new things. Exposure to a variety of new things is called socialization. Read more about socialization under the heading “Obedience Training.” Early training makes them familiar with the sport. They will have a head start when they’re old enough for actual training.
When you Dal is old enough, he can enter an event called an Agility Trial. The Agility Trial courses start off easy and gradually increase in difficulty. Your Dal will begin with an easy course and then advance to more difficult levels when he’s ready. Titles and awards are given by different organization such as the American Kennel Club, United States Dog Agility Association, North American Dog Agility Council, and the United Kennel Club.
Fun Day for All
Agility Trials are approved by the American Kennel Club. It’s a fun day for everyone, including the dogs. In fact, it’s hard to tell who is having the most fun – spectators, handlers, or the dogs. Agility training and competition are exciting for you and your Dalmatian. He is smart, has endurance, and learns the course easily. His “agility ability” makes him a natural.
Here are some links to learn more about Agility Training.
Photo credit: Sam Cockman