Looking for a fun way to activate your Labradoodle, and let it use some of all that energy before it ends up destroying your home? Agility is a perfect sport for that and it comes with a lot of benefits.
But are Labradoodles good at agility? Labradoodles are excellent agility dogs. They are highly energetic, strong and agile dogs’, and combined with their high intellect, are easily trainable for any obstacle course or challenge they can be presented to.
But why are Labradoodles good at agility, and what would be the best way to begin this sport? Read on to find out.
What is Agility Training for Dogs
Agility for dogs is a very passionate sport in which the training and handling of a dog is really put to the test.
The sport of dog agility was originally developed by combining the sport of horse stadium jumping with a lot of the different challenges that are unique to dogs.
In a competition, the participants is in a race against the clock where they have to instruct their furry friends to perform different and quite challenging exercises. The ultimate goal of the sport is to be the fastest one to finish the course.
Agility involves such activities as tunnel running, hurdle jumping, and pole weaving among other things.
In this post, we will share all that’s necessary to know about dog agility training and how well Labradoodles perform in this sport.
Statistics show that a medium sized working dogs usually have a better chance at winning in agility as compared to other larger or smaller breeds.
Some dog breeds, like a Labradoodle, are by nature better suited to the sport, but more than 150 different breeds have shown some surprising abilities when competing in agility, so the breed isn’t necessarily the only criteria when it comes to finding a winner.
Pretty much ever agility club allows mixed or hybrid breeds, except for the American Kennel Club.
Dogs that are physically active, full of energy, and have a desire for pleasing their owners are typically the most successful when it comes to agility competitions. Headstrong pups with a tendancy to get into trouble every time you turn your back on them are typically also surprisingly great candidates.
How dog agility works is that you have to direct your dog through a pre-set obstacle course within a certain time limit.
Usually, the courses consist of between 15-20 obstacles, which include seesaws, tunnels, weave pools, tire jumps, and pause tables where the dog has to stop for a certain amount of time.
At a specific trial, your dog will have to race around the course that is uniquely designed for that day.
And perhaps most imortantly, your dog will have to do all of that based solely on cues and the body language you use to guide him/her around the course.
Anything from the smallest Chihuahua to the largest Great Dane can participate in this sport, but results may vary.
Check out the video below and watch some of the best agility dogs in action, it’s quite impressive.
Why Are Labradoodles Good at Agility
Labradoodles have become quite popular as family pets and are known for their mild manner and as good working dogs. Labradoodles are also a popular choice as guide dogs, tracking, and obedience.
These are all skills that make Labradoodles almost as if they were born to do agility.
Labradoodles are a large dog breed that are known to be powerful and very active dogs. These dogs can grow up to 20 to 24 inches in height and weigh between 60 to 70lb, and have a very loving and mild-mannered temper.
When were talking about agility training, there are typically two different types of Labradoodles:
- Those that are quite active and make for excellent agility dogs
- Those that seem to be behind all the time
Labradoodles are very intelligent dogs but not all Doodles are the same and some just don’t have the needed personality that’s a good fit for agility training.
The Benefits of Agility Training
Let’s take a look at four of the main benefits of agility training for your dog and why you should definitely give it a try.
Agility is Fantastic Exercise for a Dog
Agility is a fantastic way to get rid of some of all that excess energy a dog has. Running and jumping through a course that involves passing through and over a variety of obstacles which will all challenge your dogs’ body and mind.
Getting your dog involved in agility will help to improve his coordination, strengthen his muscles, keep him fit, and increase endurance.
Agility Will Fulfill Your Dogs’ Natural Instincts
Out in the wild, dogs are hunters by nature, always chasing and running after a whole assortment of prey. While hunting for food, dogs will often have to follow rabbits and foxes through a forest all while navigating through many different obstacles.
The natural instincts of a dog involves climbing up steep slopes, jumping over fallen logs, and squeezing through areas full of bushes and vegetation.
Seeing as the ultimate goal is to catch the prey, speed and agility is of the essence, and the faster a dog is able to run, the better their chances are of ending up with a mouth full of prey.
Every agility course is uniquely designed to mimic these types of scenarios from nature and try to fulfill the chasing and hunting desires of any dog.
Agility Strengthens the Bond Between Your Dog and You
Agility courses are built in such a way that dogs won’t be able to complete them without the help from its’ handler. As the dog will have to rely on the hand and verbal instructions from the handler to be able to navigate the course, the trust between dog and owner will be improved.
When you help your dog passing through agility obstacles it will help improve communication between dog and owner, reinforce the basic obedience commands, and ultimately help to improve your dogs’ behavior even when not on an agility course.
Agility Will Help You Get Fit Too!
When you serve as the handler, you will have to run alongside your dog, and helping him get over jumps, weaving through poles, and crawling out of tunnels.
So get ready for a great and healthy cardiovascular workout while you and your dog compete to quickly finish the course.
Training a Labradoodle for Agility
Labradoodle agility training can be great fun for both you and your Labradoodle.
If you’ve never tried agility work with your Labradoodle you’re really missing out on a lot of fun. And while it certainly is quite a bit of work, it is definitely well worth it.
The number one important factor for doing this type of “work” is lots of enthusiasm and positive reinforcement. Why should your dog go through that collapsed tunnel or cross the high walk?
It is your task to convince your Labradoodle during agility training that following commands won’t harm when completing the agility obstacles.
Having a strategy between you and your dog from the start of the course on how to the finish through an wide array of different obstacles and doing it within a limited amount of time is very important.
It is also great important to have the ability to correctly complete the agility course with as few mistakes as possible.
Best Products for Agility Training at Home
There are many different products you can get if you want to start training your Labradoodle for agility, but as a start, I would recommend that you go out a get a package-deal instead of several small subparts, as you can get 90% of everything you would ever need, for a much better price.
CHEERING PET Dog Agility Equipment
This bundle from CHEERING PET has pretty much everything that you would ever need when starting with agility training.
It consists of 28 pieces which include a 58.5” long dog agility tunnel, 2 vertical poles, 8 slalom poles, adjustable hurdle, string, a rope toy, whistle, pause box, a pouch for treats, stakes, and 3 carrying bags that make it very easy to carry and store.
It’s made entirely of quality materials, that will be able to withstand a lot of roughhousing when your’ dog is first starting out.
Blue Buffalo Blue Bits for Training
You’re gonna need some treats to really get your dogs’ attention when you first start out with agility training.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness treats, not only tastes great but also has a perfect size, so your dog doesn’t end up feeling full in 5 minutes and ultimately refuses to train anymore.
Labradoodles are highly active and very intelligent dogs, that love to be with their owners at all possible times, and doing agility with a Labradoodle is pretty much guaranteed to become a success.
It will allow you to bond with your dog on a whole new level, and with the added bonus of both of you getting in the best shape possible.
It’s cheap and easy, to begin with, and something you can do almost entirely in your own backyard even if you have just a small area.
There really aren’t any downsides to agility training, so go out there and get started!
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