What exercises, training should I perform to be able to keep up with my dog in agility?
Many people don’t realize that agility training for dogs is also agility training for the handlers. In order to keep up with your dog on agility courses, you’ll need to be in good physical condition. Although the dog will be completing the obstacles, you’ll still need to be able to run at a fairly quick pace beside your dog in order to give him cues and directions about where to go next in the course. Your dog will rely on you to keep pace so that he can continue moving through the course at a quick speed.
At minimum, you should be able to jog at a quick pace in order to keep up with your dog in agility. Go for regular jogs with your dog in addition to any jogging that you do during training. Not only will this be a good exercise for you and your dog, it will also strengthen your owner-dog bond. Keep yourself and you dog healthy in the weeks leading up to any competition to increase performance levels.
In addition to jogging, you should also practice exercises that involve pivoting and lunging. Agility courses often have obstacles placed in such a way that you’ll need to make quick turns and pivots to get to the next obstacle. If you lose your footing or cannot pivot to get to the next obstacle, your dog will not know where to go next and will lose valuable time waiting for you. Practice lunges, running and pivoting, and crouching to stay in shape for the agility obstacle courses.