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Even if you have no intention of signing your dog up for any dog agility competitions, it might still be worth joining a dog agility club. Read on to learn why.
It could prevent your dog from getting injured during your walks
If you regularly bring your dog to a dog agility club and allow them to partake in the obstacle courses that the club organiser sets up, this could potentially prevent your pet from getting injured in the future when you walk them.
For example, if your dog is energetic and a bit reckless, and because of this, doesn't tend to look before they leap when you're out on a walk with them, having this agility training could reduce the chances of them stumbling after jumping onto a large rock and then falling off it or diving headfirst into a tree trunk when chasing after a rabbit. This is because the obstacles they'll regularly face at the agility club will improve their reaction times, their speed and their flexibility and so they'll be less likely to make an error that could lead to injury when you take them walking.
Taking them to an agility club will also improve their obedience levels, as they'll get used to being commanded to do lots of different actions in a short period of time. This, too, could protect them from being injured, as they'll be more likely to obey you when, for example, you tell them not to leap into a river when you're out walking.
It will make them healthier
The other huge benefit of taking your dog to an agility club is that it could improve their health. Whilst walking them regularly will help them to stay at a healthy weight and give their cardiovascular health a boost, it cannot provide the same health benefits as agility training. This is because agility training involves a wide variety of physical movements, including sprinting through tunnels, leaping over walls and through tyres, running up and down frames and balancing on seesaws. These will greatly improve their flexibility, strength and balance.
This is worth noting if you have any mobility issues which mean that you cannot do vigorous exercise (for example, if you can't go out for a run with your dog or don't have the arm strength to throw tennis balls for them). If this is the case, taking your dog to the agility club and allowing other members to guide them around the obstacle course will give your pet the chance to gain the health benefits that you can not provide them with directly.