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Agility Training and Competitions

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Tags: Australian Terrier, Agility, Exercise

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Raleigh, NC


Agility training and competitions are a wonderful activity and great sport for both Australian terriers and their owners. Because Australian terriers are so intelligent, quick learners, and love to please, they make a very good dog for agility training. You and your dog work as a team with the terrier attempting to negotiate an obstacle course as quickly and accurately as possible by following your commands and directions. Agility training is a sport that demonstrates your dog's versatility and agile nature by overcoming various obstacles. In agility training and competitions, you do not use treats or toys as incentives. You have a fixed amount of time to direct your terrier off-leash around an agility course by using various body signals, select movements, and voice commands to guide the dog.

To succeed in agility competitions, your Australian terrier needs proper training as it is a sport of patience, control, physical skill, and teamwork between you and your dog, with accuracy and timing being most important. Most agility courses consists of contact obstacles, weave poles, jumps, a pause table, tunnels, and a tire. Some contact obstacles are an A-frame, seesaw, and dog-walk. On the way up and down, your terrier must keep one paw touching the painted yellow areas on contact obstacles. With the weave poles, your Aussie has to weave each pole by entering the first pole to the right and exiting to the left of the last pole. They design all dog obstacle courses for agility competitions to appeal to the spectators but with safety being their main concern. If your terrier misjudges a jump, the jump bar falls so there is no injury to your dog and all contact equipment has roughened surfaces.

To qualify for official competition in the United States, dogs can compete in agility competitions regardless of nationality or size provided you register the dog with the American Kennel Club. It is a good idea for you and your Australian terrier to belong to a dog agility club because you not only meet other members but also can train your dogs together. Most clubs require your dog to be at least one year of age or older to take part in agility activities. The advantages of belonging to a dog agility club are: you can get a lot of advice and help from other members with trouble on individual obstacles your terrier might be having a problem with and help on running the complete course. Dogs entered in agility competitions must be physically sound, not in heat, and well behaved both on and off-leash around other people and dogs. They can expel a dog that attacks another dog or misbehaves from the trial site or even end up banning the dog from competing. Although agility training is hard work for you and your Australian terrier, it is also a lot of fun, and once you start entering agility competitions, it makes the effort worthwhile.

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