Now that you have the proper tools, equipment, and motivation to lead and be your dog’s own agility trainer, the next real thing is to start the exercises now. It’s okay to feel a little bit intimidated and hesitate whether or not your dog will follow you. Here’s another tip: Have plenty of treats with you and be kind to your dog always.
We have compiled the best exercises and drills a beginner can use and follow to agility-train their dog:
If you have not taught your dog any cues about jumping yet, then here is a simple trick to do it. Hold a small treat up in the air (just enough for him to jump and reach it) and lure your dog to get it by wiggling it and say the word “Jump.” If your furry companion is hesitating with what to do, then demonstrate it by acting like jumping as if to reach for something too.
Do this one more time without the demonstration and by the command of your voice. If your dog successfully did it, congratulations! You have done one of the first techniques in agility training.
Easy Tunnel Obstacle
It’s time to put those tunnels you have brought or made to test! Tunnels can be scary for dogs, especially if this is really his first time to see one. The best thing to do is to lure him with bite-size treats again. Spread some trail bites along the tunnel and let him start from the entrance until the exit. The tunnel should be a simple one instead of a complicated style with height and width changing along the course.
Weave Poles Run
You will need to do a lot of instructions and directions for your dog in this drill. As a first-timer, either use a leash to guide your dog or lure him with treats again along the course. Start with just a straight path and equally spaced poles in your backyard. Dogs generally have a very short attention span, so be prepared to spend 15-20 minutes in this drill only.
The start of the long-time training will test your patience and your determination to teach your dog. Don’t give up as this is only the beginning! Start small, with only one activity or drill per day. If you see your dog progressing and getting more attentive to your words and commands, then move onto the next level. Don’t force your furry companion to do this as dogs are not robots. Think of the long-time and rewarding results this agility training will bring every time you think of giving up.