Why You Should Let Fido Get on That Dog Agility Course
Most off-leash parks in the country today come with a dog agility course. But what exactly are the benefits of letting your dog use these dog park equipment?
Why you should let Fido try agility courses at dog parks
1) It puts his natural instincts to work
Dogs are natural hunters. It’s ingrained in them to chase and run after things. You’ve probably noticed how much your dog loves jumping up and down logs or climbing steep slopes—that’s his natural hunter instincts at work.
A dog agility course mimics these natural scenarios fulfilling your dog’s need to hunt and chase.
2) It’s a great way to exercise
If you’re looking for a different way to help your dog get rid of excess energy, let him get on dog park agility courses. Climbing those ramps and making his way through tunnels will challenge Fido’s mind and body.
Agility courses also strengthen your dog’s muscles and improve his coordination.
3) It helps prevent obesity
A 2018 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50% of dogs in the country are overweight or obese.
If you don’t work with your dog to remove this excess weight, it can lead to several health issues like arthritis, heart problems, and canine diabetes.
It’s best to allow your dogs plenty of opportunities to exercise to help prevent obesity. If agility courses are not for your canine, maybe you can take him hiking or swimming.
4) It helps build your dog’s confidence
It’s important to build your dog’s confidence, so he doesn’t feel isolated and vulnerable. Your dog will miss out on a lot it always feels scared to try new things and meet new people.
Agility courses can help your dog be more accustomed to small spaces, unusual surfaces, different smells, and even scary situations.
These exercises also help dogs learn to complete tasks confidently, which comes in handy when he meets new dogs or people outside the dog park.
5) It helps your dog develop self-control
Exercise doesn’t only help you make sure your dog stays fit. It’s also a great way to develop discipline, trust, and self-control.
An agility course has several components, which means dogs won’t always know where to go and what to do when.
But constant exposure to agility courses at dog parks will help your dog develop the discipline to wait for your command before he plays and play only where you ask him to.
It’s a great way to train your dog to listen to your voice command and commit to one task at a time.
How to keep your dog safe at agility courses
Like trips to the dog park or hiking and swimming with your dog, agility courses at off-leash areas can be dangerous if you don’t know what to look for.
1) Check for loose nails or creaky boards
You don’t want your dog’s paws to be caught in loose nails and boards. Always check dog park equipment for any damages or loose parts that can be potentially dangerous for Fido.
2) Do some warm-ups
Did you know that dogs need warm-ups, too? A quick warm-up before letting your canine hit the agility course helps loosen muscles and prepare for jumps and crawls. Warm-ups can also help prevent injuries on your dog’s feet and paws.
A quick brisk walk around the dog park will do. Not only will your dog be familiar with the park, but he’ll also burn off some excess energy.
3) Bring plenty of water
You don’t want your dog to be dehydrated while he’s jumping through agility equipment, so always bring a clean dog bowl and plenty of water.
Make sure you prepare for summer trips to dog parks, too. Keep trips to dog parks short or take breaks under shade. Remember that dogs don’t cool down the same way humans do, so always watch for signs of dehydration and overheating.
All in all
Bringing Fido to dog parks with agility equipment can benefit you, too. For one, you also get a healthy dose of exercise. Apart from that, you and your dog develop a close bond when you play on agility courses.
You also help your dog be more trusting with new experiences, people, and other dogs and situations.