Cocker Spaniel Agility Training for Newbies

Being the owner of a Cocker Spaniel you may have been considering joining an agility training class. If so you are in for a real treat. Dogs love agility training classes because they provide a new environment and obstacles for them to experience. They are introduced to ramps, poles, jumps and colorful things that challenge their thinking and athletic ability.

Requirements

Most training groups will require that your dog attend an obedience class to learn the basic commands. Any signs of aggression are not tolerated by groups as this only disrupts the class and could lead to dogs and or people being injured.

Performance

The performance of your dog will depend on his temperament and how well he listens to you. It’s more about the dog than the breed of dog. However, Cocker Spaniels have proven to be good candidates. They are smart and eager to please. Your obedience class trainer will be able to provide you with more insight on how well your dog will respond.

You may also wish to contact a local agility group to have your Cocker Spaniel evaluated as well. Request a one on one consultation. They will be able to provide you with valuable insights and expectations of the training involved.  Ask if you can sit in on a lesson so that you can see the class in action. You’ll find them to be accommodating. Some classes are more competitive than others so it’s a good idea to seek out a group that your dog will be well suited for.

Training

The training begins with simple warm ups to get the dog familiar with its surroundings and starts when the handler has the attention of your dog. It is the handler that will first show your dog what to do. In some classes the dog owner will follow the lead of the trainer with coaching provided as well.

At first the obstacles will be simple and progress to more advanced training as the pup progresses. Lessons generally last about one hour per week and could last up to six or eight weeks. The training continues at home so you must be willing to put in the time required.

How to Find Agility Class

It should be fairly easy to find a group to work with. Your vet will be a good source for a referral. Often the vet’s staff members are knowledgeable on where to go for agility training as well. Attend an agility competition and mingle with the handlers and dog owners. You will learn a lot from them as most are willing to be helpful.

Dog agility training is lots of fun for the owner and the Cocker Spaniel. Classes will provide information on the full scope of training and competing. Good agility training is a fun activity and never forced. Participating in the sport is great fun for the pup and an excellent way to further build on your bonding with your Cocker Spaniel.

No matter what your goals are, going through an agility class only once will make your dog a better citizen.


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