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Agility Dog Training And Pit Bull Terriers

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Agility Dog Training for your Pitbulls

Spending time training your Pit Bull can be very rewarding and fun for you both. It helps build a stronger bond between dog and owner that is important for the happiness of both parties. There are many different types of training that you can choose to do with your Pit Bull, one such is agility dog training.

Process

Agility dog training is the process of teaching your dog to successfully navigate an obstacle course. If the training is successful, your pet should be able to do it by only listening to and obeying your commands. During an event, the dogs are timed and to win must not make any mistakes and must have the fastest time. It takes a lot of practice for a dog to be successful at this, but can be quite fun for both dog and trainer. This activity is especially good for Pit Bulls because it gives them a good outlet for all the extra energy they seem to have.

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Most experts recommend not starting agility training until your dog is at least one year old, at least not to enter in a competition before that age. Many owners who train their dogs to participate in these events will purchase their own equipment to have at home, so that they can begin training the dog at an earlier age. Agility dog training equipment can be quite expensive, so some trainers prefer to build their own equipment. Instructions can be found online and in books that should be available either in your local library or bookstore. Owners should be careful to watch the dog for any signs of injury, because occasionally working on agility training while the puppy is still growing will put a lot of strain on joints and bones that are not fully conditioned yet. It is recommended to have your dog cleared by a veterinarian before beginning any type of agility dog training.

Understanding Commands

The dog should also understand and obey basic commands before beginning any other type of training. Any type of training helps dog and owner to build a better relationship with each other, allowing them to work better and better together as time goes on. You should also work through any behavior or aggression issues your Pit Bull may have before considering agility training. The results will be less satisfactory and take longer to achieve if the dog is also working through other issues.

Most Pit Bull owners that are serious about their dog competing in agility competitions will enroll him in a training class, at least to help teach him the basics, then work with the dog on their own to enhance what he has learned. Being in a class will also help your dog work on his socialization, which will make him behave better around other dogs. Pit Bulls tend to want to fight when around other dogs, especially those of the same gender.

The most important thing to remember is no matter what type of training you do with your Pit Bull, you both should enjoy it. Spending time together will help build a better bond, leading to a lasting relationship. Whether you want your dog to compete or not, the benefits for both you and the dog are many.

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How Agility Builds Confidence in Your Dog

Building Confidence in your Dog with Agility Training

Is your dog timid around people or other dogs?  Is your dog sensitive to sounds?  Agility training can provide the environment and structure to build confidence in your dog.  Agility classes are a great place for people to learn about the sport and learn how to train, but the timid dog may take a long time before he is ready to venture from under your chair or off your lap.

A timid or shy dog can only learn inside their comfort zone.  So, training must begin where they feel safe and behaviors must be taught in very small increments. Home will probably be the best place to train and have learning take place for your dog.

How to Train at Home

So, how do you train at home?  You will need guidelines and equipment. There is a multitude of websites that can give you information on agility training.  There are also books and videos that will give details and visual aids and lesson plans for beginners thru expert levels.

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There is a variety of equipment that is useful and helpful to have at home.  Equipment recommendations are based on your available space and location of training.  Do you have a large yard that will hold 10 obstacles? Do you have a small yard where you will need setup equipment and then tear down before you can setup again?  Will you be training in your garage or basement, or as some agility addicts, in your living room.

Timid or Skittish Dogs

For the timid dogs make sure your equipment is safe and sturdy.  The pause table is a good place to begin your agility training.   A 12” high pause table, with adjustable legs for later use, is a good starting place for all size dogs. Remember with your shy dog, setup your table in an area that is very familiar to your dog.  If your dog barks at anything new, just leave your pause table in your house or yard for several days, let your dog inspect and smell it on his own or with a little coaxing, but don’t push to fast, remember baby steps with the insecure dog.  With treats in a dish or his favorite toy placed on the table encourage your dog to get up on the table.  This may take more than one lesson, be patient.  If your timid dog looses interest in food or toys when you attempt something new, trying holding him and you sit on the table.  If your dog is too big to hold, have him on leash and you sit on the table.  If he backs away coax him, only treat or reward him when he comes to you, never when he’s pulling back away from you or the table.

Eventually, you want your dog to be able to jump on the table with your cue word, “Table”, “Box”, “Kennel”, whatever word you use, Stay on the table as you back away and then Come when you call. Build your distance slowly so that your dog is not pushed to soon.

From Pause Table to Contact Trainer is a nice transition for shy dog.  A Contact Trainer comes in different designs.  We recommend a 3-Piece Contact Trainer that has one mini A-frame side, a Pause Table, and then a mini Dog-walk side.  Your dog can Sit on the table and then be coaxed down the A-frame side or the Dog-walk side.  Just remember with the shy dog, training is done in increments, slowly and comfortably, with a little push to stretch him, but not enough to overwhelm him to cause a shutdown.

You can follow the above techniques introducing new obstacles as your dog is able to succeed.  As your dog succeeds on each new piece of equipment you will see his confidence grow.

How Dog Supplements Can Help

You may wonder how a natural dog supplement may be able to help your timid or skittish dog build confidence. BuffK-9’s True Champion Dog 2.0 formula contains adaptogen herbs to help your dog adapt to different stresses. Whether your dog has any mental or physical stress, True Champ has the solution to your problems. Also see Buff-Hemp Oil for Dogs, as this supplement has many benefits for dogs under stress and anxiety.