Spaniel Agility Training

Agility is a great way for your Spaniel to stay fit, alert and healthy.  So, keep reading for some fantastic tips and advice on Spaniel agility training.

Spaniel Agility TrainingThere are plenty of agility commands that you can teach your Spaniel.  Two of the most common include going through tunnels and weaving polls.  However, before teaching your Spaniel these agility commands, you firstly need to read the below tips and advice:

  • You can start Spaniel agility training right from the puppy stage.  However your Spaniel should not enter any serious agility competitions until they are at least one year of age.
  • Remember that teaching your Spaniel agility does not mean that they have to enter competitions.  It can just be for fun and as a means of exercising and stimulating your Spaniel.  Plus it is a fantastic way to bond with your beloved pet.
  • Ideally Spaniel agility training should begin once your Spaniel has mastered the basics such as learning to sit, stay and lie down.  Once your Spaniel understands these commands then you can start with the more complicated Spaniel agility training.
  • You need to remember that Spaniel agility training will take time.  Your Spaniel will not remember everything straight away.  Therefore it is vital you stay patient throughout the entire process.
  • If you are serious about having your Spaniel enter in agility competitions then you could look at enrolling them in a proper dog agility class.  The trainers at these classes would be able to help you and your Spaniel master agility training.

Now comes the fun part – teaching your Spaniel certain agility moves.

Tunnels

Tunnels are one of the easiest agility obstacles for your Spaniel to master, so it might be best to start with this.  The following are some basic steps on teaching your Spaniel to go through tunnels:

  • It’s important that you do not get too large a tunnel to begin with.  Your Spaniel ideally needs to be able to see out the other side.  This will help lessen the chance of your Spaniel becoming anxious while inside.
  • Have a family member or friend stand at one end of the tunnel with a reward such as a tasty doggy treat.
  • Take your Spaniel to the start of the tunnel and use a command such as “tunnel”.  Make sure you stick to this command so that your Spaniel does not get confused.
  • Get the person at the other end of the tunnel to encourage your Spaniel to come to them.
  • Once your Spaniels makes it to the end of the tunnel reward them with the tasty doggy treat and also give them lots of praise and affection.  This will encourage your Spaniel to want to go through the tunnel again.
  • As your Spaniel gets more comfortable you can start to introduce longer tunnels.
  • As your Spaniel gets better at this task, you will not need someone to stand at the end of the tunnel to encourage them through 

Weaving Poles

Weaving poles consists of a number of poles spread out evenly which your Spaniel has to weave through.  It is one of the more difficult Spaniel agility training obstacles to learn.  However with time and patience it is achievable.  The following tips will help you get started:

  • Start by setting up your weave polls in your yard.  Ideally, there should be half a meter between each of the poles.
  • The next step is putting a leash on your Spaniel and walking them through the poles.  After each run through on the leash you can gradually move the polls closer together.  Having the poles closer together will create the ‘weave like’ motion.
  • Each time your Spaniel weaves correctly reward them with a special doggy treat.  Cuddles and affection also work well.
  • Overtime your Spaniel will be able to weave themselves through the poles without the leash.  However, remember this is a difficult task to learn so your Spaniel will not pick it up straight away.  It may even take a few months for your Spaniel to master this agility obstacle.  Therefore you need to be extremely patient and put in the time if you wish your Spaniel to become an expert at the weave polls.

As previously mentioned, Spaniel agility is a great thing to get into.  It will help with your Spaniels wellbeing and is also a fantastic way to bond with your beloved dog.  Plus, if you are thinking about entering competitions then this can be really exciting – for both you and your Spaniel.  So what are you waiting for – start Spaniel agility training today!