Is your dog scared of individuals or other dogs and sensitive to sounds? If yes, agility training is the key to build confidence in your dog. Agility classes are incredible for people to learn about the sport and learn how to train. However, for the timid dog, it may take a long time before he is ready to venture out instead of hiding under your seat or off your lap.
Here’s the thing, a shy or timid dog can only learn when they are inside their comfort zone. It’s pretty obvious, but some just prefer to ignore this number one fact. We need to make our dog to feel safe and behaviors must be educated slowly. Home will presumably be the best place to conduct the training.
Next question you may have, how to do the agility training? Guideline and equipment will be needed. There is a huge number of sites that can give you data on the training. There are likewise books and recordings that will provide you details, visual aids and lessons for beginners all the way till master levels. Do look for the customers’ reviews before engaging any of those that you find online.
There are lots of equipment that you can choose and be used at home. What type of equipment depend on your accessible space and the where the training will be held. Some of the questions that you need to ask yourself are… Do you have a big yard that can accommodate maybe 10 obstacles and can be permanently installed? Do you have a little yard whereby you can only afford to set up the training equipment temporary and tear it down every time after use? Are you going to do it in basement or garage or maybe in your own living room? You need to consider all these before buying any equipment. I don’t want you to waste the money.
Ok, what’s next? Ensure your equipment that you are going to purchase is protected and strong. The pause table is the place to start the agility training for your dog. Get a 12″ high pause table with customizable legs for future use and it will be a good start for all sizes of dogs. Once again, keep in mind that your timid dog needs to feel safe and comfortable, so set up the equipment in an area that is familiar to him/her. In case your dog barks at it, just leave the pause table for couple of days, let your dog examine and smell it in his/her own sweet time. Don’t push too fast. Insecure dogs require baby steps to build their confidence.
Put treats in a dish or his/her most loved toy on the pause table to give your dog some motivation to get up on the table. It’s likely to take more than a lesson. Be extra patient. What if your shy dog loses interest in food or toys when you endeavor something new? Then do this, hold him/her and you sit on the table together with him/her. If your dog is too huge to hold, then have him on leash and you sit on the table. If he backs away, persuade by treating or praising him/her when he/she comes back to you. Never never give him/her a treat or praise him/her if your dog just walks away from you or the table. We need to be strict and stern.
The end goal is to have your dog to bounce on the table table whenever you say cue word such as “Table”, “Kennel”, “Box” or whatever word you like. Let your dog stay on the table as you step back and after that come to you when you call. Distance yourself slowly in this exercise. Don’t push your dog too early. As your dog succeeds on each equipment that you’ve prepared for him/her, you will start to see the confidence grows within the dog.