Dog agility training is a sport that has not only become more popular over the last few years but American foxhounds and other active dogs do this happily. Along with the competitors, spectators find this sport very exciting and entertaining. Agility training is a fun, enjoyable sport that you can do with your foxhound, exercise the dog and yourself, forge an even stronger bond and have the thrill of competing and hopefully, winning some trophies together. If you are considering agility training for your American foxhound, your dog needs basic obedience training first. He should understand and obey commands such as heel, down, sit, and come when you call him and be well socialized with both other dogs and people because there are always distractions during a trial. Dogs of all sizes and breeds can enter dog agility competitions. To prevent a dog from injury, his growth plates have to close and this usually occurs around nine months of age. Once this happens, he can begin agility training and enter competitions once he can clear his division's height jumps.
Dog agility competitions are well organized and serious, with many regulations and guidelines. There are two divisions, which are the mini division for dogs from sixteen to twenty-one inches in height and the open division for dogs over twenty-one inches. The jump heights in the mini division are twelve to twenty four inches while in the open division, they are twenty six to thirty inches. An agility judge measures the dogs before the competition.
The sport of dog agility training requires the dog's owner or handler to direct their dog through different agility courses with a set number of obstacles. The dog quickly moves through weave poles, A-frames, seesaws, tunnels, and jumps following the trainer's commands. Your dog must jump over a number of obstacles without accidentally knocking any down. The obstacles have contact points that your foxhound must touch or he is faulted. They time your American foxhound making his way through the obstacles and deduct any faults, so they judge him on his agility abilities and time. Your American foxhound will begin in the starter division of his dog agility training career, because he holds no agility titles. Earning his starter title requires your foxhound to have one clear round after which he can compete in the advanced level and then the masters.
If you are interested in getting started in agility training with your American foxhound, make this exciting, rewarding and fun for your dog. Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes and shoes when working on agility training with your foxhound because your energetic dog will get exercise but so will you. To get your dog's attention and help him stay focused, always train your foxhound in a safe place that is free from distractions, using small treats and lots of praise to encourage him.