Use Agility To Build Confidence In Your Dog

by Martin Elmer
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 takes place for your dog.But how do you train your dog at home? You need two things: guidelines and equipment. You can find multiple websites with information on agility training. Other options are books and videos with details, visual aids and lesson plans for both beginners and experts.

You can find a lot of equipment that is helpful and useful to have at home for dog training. All the equipment recommendations are based on location of training and the available space. Do you e.g. have a large yard with room for 10 obstacles? Or do you only have a small yard, so you have to tear down the equipment before you can setup something else up? Will the training be in the basement or garage; or maybe in the living room?

The equipment has to be safe and sturdy when training a timid dog. A good place to start your agility training is a pause table. A 12″ high pause table (preferable with adjustable legs) is a great starting point for dogs in all sizes. Setup the table in an area that the dog is familiar with. If your dog is the type that barks at everything new, you can leave in the house or yard for a couple of days before using it. Then the dog can inspect and smell it. Remember you need to use baby steps with an insecure dog.

Use treats or your dog’s favorite toy to encourage it to get up on the table. Be patient because it may take more than one lesson. If the dog looses interest, try something new; e.g. place yourself on the table holding the dog. If it is not possible, have it on leash when you are sitting on the table. And only treat it when it comes to you. Never do it, if it is pulling away.

When the dog gets more experienced, you might want the dog to jump on the table using a cue word like Table, stay on the table as you back away with the word Stay and Come to you, when you call. You should extend the distance slowly, not pushing the dog to hard.

If you follow the above instructions, you can introduce new obstacles that can give your dog a new success. When it success a new piece of equipment, its confidence will grow.

About the Author:
Martin Elmer is the editor of Hundefan – a website about hunde artikler. Here you can also read about transport hund.