Agility Training Dog Tube
Dog agility is a popular spectator sport in which handler-dog teams attempt to complete a timed obstacle course with the highest score (determined by accuracy) and the quickest time. In the sport of dog agility, the dog's agility is obviously important, but the dog's confidence and the handler's ability to control the dog off-leash are equally important.
Dog agility originally appeared in the UK as an exhibition sport in the 1970s, developing rapidly and spreading around the world. Equestrian competitions provided the inspiration for dog agility, but the sport has invented new obstacles of its own. Tunnels or tubes are good examples of agility obstacles never faced by horses in competition.
Agility training your dog for tube obstacles may seem daunting at first. You dog may be reluctant to enter the enclosed space without being able to see something on the other side. You'll need to teach your dog to be focused on getting through the obstacle without turning around and exiting through the entrance.
Agility Training Your Dog for Tube Obstacles
You can get started with agility training tube obstacles at home. You'll probably need to pick up a few raw materials at a home and building supply retailer like Home Depot, and you may need a helper for some of the early stages of agility training your dog for the tube.
Rigid tunnels (sometimes they're also called vacuums) can be fabricated from air-conditioning ducts. Start with a short tunnel. Get your helper to hold your dog at one end of the tunnel. Then walk beside the tunnel as your dog passes through the inside of the tube, providing encouragement and reassurance along the way.
Your dog may be a little skittish in the tube to begin with, but your voice will provide calming motivation for him to proceed. Of course, you'll want to praise him when he emerges from the other end of the tube. As your dog gets used to the tube, you can begin to lengthen the tunnel and add angles to it.
Chutes are tunnels that are rigid on one end and flexible at the other end. Get some nylon parachute fabric and sew it into the shape of a tube. Then attach this nylon tube to the end of a plastic barrel. Now, you've got a chute for agility training your dog for tube obstacles.
Here's how to get your dog used to entering the chute, which is really like a collapsed tunnel. Start out by gathering up the fabric end to make it shorter. Hold it up and open, and encourage your dog to come through the opening. Once he's comfortable coming through the fabric ring, start to lower the fabric each time until it touches his shoulders as he passes through. Now begin to unroll the gathered fabric bit by bit each time, still holding it open as he passes through it. The final step is to stretch the fabric to its full length, let it fall to the ground, and have your dog come through.
Once your dog is consistently coming through the collapsed tunnel, you can start training in combination with your rigid tube. Known as sequencing, this combination training will help you get your dog ready for agility competitions. Agility training your dog for the tube, like all aspects of dog agility training, should be loads of fun. Excitement, exercise and fun are what agility training and competitions are really all about.
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