Agility training for dogs is is one of the fastest growing dog sports. It’s fun for both Weimaraners and their owners, great exercise for both of you, and a way to socialize with other pet owners.
Dog agility clubs and competitions give you a chance to learn how to do dog agility training, exercise along with your dog, and find people who have common interests.
As you already know, Weimaraners have huge amounts of energy, and agility training helps work off some of that energy!
Why Agility Training for Dogs?
Getting rid of excess energy is not the only reason for agility training. There are other ways to do that, like a good run in an open field.
Agility training offers even more advantages:
- An opportunity for you to get into shape
- Deeper bonding between you and your dog
- You are working a part of your dog’s brain that senses accomplishment, much like your dog feels after a successful and fun-filled hunting trip
- Exercise helps your dog feel calmer, less anxious
- Your dog learns to be more responsive to your commands – a plus for safety and for hunting skills
- Agility training has some aspects that transfer to other types of training
- Most important – you’ll both have fun!
And there is yet another advantage. Agility dog training is a healthy outlet. When your Weimaraner gets lots of exercise and stimulation, he is less likely to engage in negative behaviors like nipping and chewing.
There are agility groups for specific breeds like Weimaraners, mixed groups and even groups specifically for mixed breed dogs.
Agility Dog Training for Weimaraners?
So, you may be wondering if agility training would be good for your dog. Of course, not all dogs are suited for agility training, and some might not even like it.
Weimaraners take naturally to the sport! They are bright and learn quickly. They are high energy dogs, love speed and running, and they live to please you!
The seemingly boundless energy of this breed along with their desire to please their pack leader (That’s you!) makes a great combination for success.
However, deciding whether agility training is right for your dog, also depends a lot on you. While you don’t need to be a medal winning track star, you do need to be able to run with your dog.
You also need to be committed to practicing with him. To get this right, you’ll need to spend time practicing, almost every day, much as you would, if you were training your pup to hunt.
Affordable Agility in the Bag lets you practice agility fun games at home! And you don’t have to wait for good weather. If you have a large area like a basement or empty garage, you can also play indoors.
Weimaraners on the Run!
The basic concept of dog agility training boils down to teaching your dog to obey your commands and to navigate an obstacle course.
You give voice commands that guide your Weimaraner through the various challenges on a pre-set course, and the event is timed.
An agility course typically has between 14-20 stations. These can include tunnels, tire jumps, seesaws, slides and pause tables, where your dog must stop for a set amount of time.
At each “trial” a dog races around the course that was set up for that day. Dogs follow commands that are cues and body language from the trainer, or owner.
Until your puppy is old enough to participate, you can play little games with her, that will help to prepare her for agility training. Practice commands like Come, Sit, and Stay.
By definition, you need equipment to set up an agility course. You can buy agility equipment or you can even make it at home, if you like to putter.
Of course, if you really want to get serious (and want to increase the fun), you could get an 18′ long dog agility tunnel.
And you’ll want to have a copy of From the Ground Up: Agility Foundation Training for Puppies and Beginner Dogs by Kim Collins if you’re just getting started.
And, if you already have some experience, another popular book which will give you ideas for fun and thoughts on how to get your dog into the game is: Agility Right from the Start by Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh.
As training progresses, your puppy will learn to take commands, while exercising his body and mind – which is great for a smart breed like this one.
Your Dog and Agility Dog Training
Now it should be noted that not every Weimaraner will enjoy agility training. This is where knowing your dog, and having a good relationship with your dog is very important.
See how your puppy responds to training activities like fetching, jumping, and rolling over. If she seems happy and responsive, then your pup has potential for agility training.
It’s also important that you have time to invest in this process. You will need to train with your dog regularly, and this will involve a commitment of time.
Depending on the rules for courses in your area, your dog will need to be a certain age before he can work on the agility course. This is for your dog’s safety. But you can still play together and practice simple agility activities at home, until your pup is ready for real dog agility courses.
Get Started with Agility Training for Dogs
If you are very interested in dog agility training with your Weimaraner, then you should look for a dog agility club in your area.
Club members can tell you about the equipment and rules of various competitions. Some agility games are more intensive than others – so again, be sensitive to your dog and what you KNOW he can and can’t do.
If agility training is a new sport for you, a copy of From the Ground Up: Agility Foundation Training for Puppies and Beginner Dogs by Kim Collins is a great way to become familiar with the sport. And it will give you lots of ideas to try with your dog.
Agility training for dogs is a wonderful sport, for dogs and owners alike. Weimaraners often do very well in competitions.
Keep in mind that the endurance and speed challenges are important for competition, and the challenges requiring flexibility and intelligence is where Weimaraners shine.
Weimaraners love learning new tricks and the on-going level of activity required for agility training. It will help keep your dog fit and trim and keep her from getting too fat.
Work on one maneuver at a time. Stay upbeat and loving. And the results may surprise you…