Teaching agility may be daunting. There are quite a few obstacles in a typical competition course and running them successfully takes a handler with plenty of control to guide their dog through each one without fault. But competition is not the only reason to learn agility. Many dogs do it for fun and exercise and it’s a great way to bond with your Aussie, regardless if you bring home a trophy or not. However, be aware that agility is best done once your dog is done growing physically to prevent injuries to developing bones and joints.
You and your dog will need to learn each individual type of obstacle in a typical course, of which there can be anywhere between three and six. Multiple versions of the same type of obstacle may also be utilized in agility courses, which requires a familiarity for each one. Your Aussie will learn how to use your guidance to bring them to the finish line of an agility course and within just a few weeks, he can be running along with the best agility competitors out there.
Make sure your dog is assessed by your vet to see if he is in good shape to start agility training. Small puppies or senior dogs may not have the physical capabilities for running obstacles and any pre-existing conditions for your Aussie may be worsened by the strenuous exercise required for agility. Get a clean bill of health before beginning.
You will either need access to agility equipment through a local club or organization or you can build your own obstacles at home. Professional equipment can be pricey, but there are many affordable DIY options. At the very least, you will need a jump or jump bar that can be adjusted for height, a tunnel that is rigid and stable, a ramp that can safely hold your dog’s weight, and a set of at least six weaving poles that won’t topple over if your dog hits them. This equipment can help you get started on your path to creating a great agility runner.