Please enable JavaScript to access this page. Homes And Families Counselling: Understanding Dog Agility Jargon

Understanding Dog Agility Jargon

Dog agility is an exciting world of fun and competition, and if you are thinking about joining in on the experience, you will need to do some basic research to understand a little bit about what is involved in training, competing and equipment. Here are a few basic bits of information that will give you a general idea of what dog agility is all about.

Dogs compete on an agility field or agility course, and these terms mean the same thing. A variety of apparatus are set up on the course and these are known as obstacles. Some obstacles are contact obstacles, and that means just what you think, the dog has direct contact with these obstacles. These include dog agility a-frames, the teeter totter and the dog walk.

The pause table is another important piece of equipment, and this might seem like contact equipment but it really is in a class all its own. The dog will hop onto the table and the handler will direct the dog to sit or lie down for whatever time is required by the competition rules. Sometimes instead of a table, there will be a pause box, which can be just a square place on the ground or even just marked off. While the appearance has changed, the skill set is the same.

In addition to contact obstacles, you will see many other fun pieces of equipment such as tunnels and chutes. Chutes are sometimes called collapsible tunnels. There are many types of jumps, including tire jumps, panel jumps and spread hurdles, which is simply a longer distance jump. At home, you can simply place two jumps together or even three to mimic this distance. Weaves are challenging obstacles, and the dog must weave in and out of 12 to 14 weaves. This generally is considered to be the hardest obstacle to navigate but it is definitely exciting to watch. Some agility competitions also include unique obstacles such as a sway bridge, but these are rare.

The handler is the important person who helps the dog through the course using signals and commands. Sometimes this is a professional handler but often it is simply the dog's owner who is the handler. Together, the two of you are a team. Once you complete the course, your will receive a score. This score is determined by several factors. You must complete the course in due time and you also have to complete the course correctly. No treats or any other type of incentive may be used. Time faults are given if the dog does not complete the course in the time allotted, and course faults are given for any obstacles that are not completed correctly.

While there are plenty of rules and regulations, dog agility is more about fun than about cutthroat competition. Obviously, it's fun to win, but dogs benefit from the exercise, the excitement and time with their owner and in the end, those are reasons why most people go into dog agility. If you want to get started, you can find all of the dog agility equipment you need at Carlson Agility. They have dog agility jumps, pause tables, dog tunnels, dog agility a-frames, teeter totters and everything else you could possibly need. You can also buy mini contact equipment, which is great for smaller dogs and puppies.

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