Basic Supplies For Teaching Dog Agility

Dog agility is the fastest growing dog sport in North America. There are already several national organizations which offer competitions for all dogs and the AKC has recently welcomed mixed breed dogs to their agility trials, too. With such a rapidly growing sport there are many people who are getting involved in agility for the first time with their dogs. Here’s some information about what you need to get started if you’re interested in teaching dog agility.

First of all, it helps if you are familiar with what will be asked of you on an agility course. Visit a kennel club or agility training club in order to see a proper agility course. Watch the participants and their dogs navigate the course. You won’t need all of this equipment to get started but this will give you a good idea of what a full course will look like and what your students will be facing in an actual competition.

From watching the participants and their dogs you’ll be able to identify the key pieces of equipment that you will need. You’ll also be able to determine some pieces that you may be able to improvise on your own. You can build your own equipment but it’s best to make sure that it meets the same requirements as the equipment that the dogs will be using when they compete.

There are a number of dog supply outlets online that sell agility equipment. Some of them sell packages of 3, 6 or more pieces of agility equipment so you can get started.

AffordableAgility.com offers sets of agility equipment including tunnels, chutes, and weave poles. Their “Agility-In-A-Bag” set is $159.95. It includes a set of 30″ weave poles, an adjustable jump, an adjustable tire jump (24″ in diameter), a pause box, a tunnel and chute, a carrying bag, colored vinyl tape to decorate the poles and an instruction manual. This would be a good starter kit for someone beginning to teach agility.

You could later add another jump and another weave pole set, as well as a seesaw and a A-frame, for example, to make up a more complete agility course.

You could also offer some training supplies for your students, such as agility DVDs, treats, treat pouches, clickers, collars and leashes, and other materials that they might need to get started with agility.

If you’re relatively new to agility make sure that you spend some time reading up on the rules and regulations. You can visit the AKC web site to find their rules: akc.org/events/agility/index.cfm. You can visit the United States Dog Agility Association web site to find out more about their events: usdaa.com. And you can visit the North American Dog Agility Council site to find out more about their events: nadac.com. Dogs need to be registered with an organization and typically compete in different classes, depending on their height, so you will need to advise your students on entering the right classes when they compete. Some organizations also have age restrictions on dogs so you should familiarize yourself with the requirements.

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