German Shepherd Dog Agility Training
Agility training and dog obstacle courses were shaped after a Steeplechase in England. The first debut was in the UK at Crufts in 1978, and has become the fasted growing dog sport among both spectators and competitors because it is fast and entertaining. Dogs, too, love the sport; it lets them run, jump, and climb, exercising many of the behavior they enjoy. The sport also allows the dogs to have close contact with a handler, giving them all the attention they want. Agility is a great way to help build confidence in shy dogs, but only if you are supportive and enthusiastic.
If you've never tried German Shepherd agility work, or as we like to call it "play", you're missing a lot of fun. Don't get me wrong, though, it is also a lot of hard work, but well worth it. Much like a combination Doggie Obstacle Course, agility training is comprised of multiple types of various obstacles that the dog must complete.
The dog sport of agility was originally developed by combining the sport of stadium jumping (with horses) with many of the different challenges that are unique to dogs.
The most important factor in this type of "work" is enthusiasm and positive reinforcement. Why should the dog cross the high walk or go through that collapsed tunnel? It is your job to convince your German Shepherd during agility training that it is okay to follow commands and that nothing will harm it by completing the agility obstacles.
Many benefits are available as a result of this type of GSD agility training. Not only does the German Shepherd get a lot of great exercise (as well as yourself), but other benefits such as socialization skills from being around other people and animals.
The agility trained German Shepherd learns body awareness skills - such as, its back feet are independent of the front which many dogs seem to be unaware of. German Shepherds acquire a new ability to accept challenges and stamina to follow through in many new situations.
One of the most important things is that your German Shepherd agility training teaches your dog to trust you as its leader. As a teacher you learn new ways to motivate your dog during dog training and new ways to get it to perform as you wish while going through the agility obstacles.
Beginning Agility Training can begin at the puppy level. It is best to remember, however, the ability levels of the growing puppy and not to put it in any situation that may result in any type of problem for it in later years. Remember those growing bones and joints even if the enthusiasm is abundant.