A sport for dogs (and their owners!) - AmericaNowNews.com

A sport for dogs (and their owners!)

We all know that regular exercise is important for staying healthy and in shape. The same goes for our four-legged friends! Our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, says dogs are natural athletes and you can do a lot more with them than just going on a daily walk.

"If you're looking for a fun and exciting way to spend time with your dog, you should definitely consider agility training," says Luciano. "It's the fastest-growing canine sport and is a great way for you and your dog to learn how to work as a team."

Whether it's indoors or outdoors, dog agility is a sport for both dog and handler. The handler directs the dog through an obstacle course in a race for time and accuracy.

Agility requires a lot of training for the dog and coordination from the handler. Your dog will be expected to run off-leash with no assistance from you. While a dog runs an obstacle course, his handler is limited to voice commands and body signals, making it a challenge for the team.

"Trust is essential for both dog and handler to be successful," says Luciano. "Treat your dog right, gain his trust, and he'll be happy to perform to the best of his abilities for you."

Agility courses consist of a set of standard obstacles. Typically, you'll find an A-frame, dog walk, teeter-totter, tunnel, collapsible tunnel, weave poles and various jumps.

Agility competitions are timed events, so dogs run the course in almost a full sprint -- and in some areas, with their handlers running right alongside them.

"It might look hard, but it really isn't," says Luciano. "Like everything else with your dog, it just takes time and patience."

If you think you and your dog are up for the challenge, look for an agility club or class in your area. It's a lot of fun and you might be surprised to see how much you and your dog can learn to do together!

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