Agility is a cynological sport which came into being in England round 1978. In this sport a dog gets over various hurdles at his whipper´s commands. It arose as a play for agile and lively dogs.
Bolognese - Grace od Krásné řeky
They can apply here a lot of activities which they would not normally apply in common life ( for example crawling through a tunnel). But the point is not only to get over successive hurdles. The most amusing and interesting fact on agility is coping with the whole jumping with about twenty hurdles with the order given in advance. Jumpings comprise various changes in direction, bends and traps so that it can be proved which team made up of a dog and his whipper is the briskest, quickest and the most harmonized one. If we should compare agility to another kind of sport, it resembles the horse jumping races with the difference that a person must run next to his dog and so the dog can get through with common jump hurdles as well as with tunnels, swings, beam, slalom etc. Anybody can do agility with any kinds of dogs. Of course, some breeds are more suitable for agility, for example a poodle, sheltie, border a bearder collie, BO) etc. And even a bolognese dog and russkaya tsvetnaya bolonka :-)
Russkaya tsvetnaya bolonka - Heidi
But races are rather icing on the cake, agility is mainly a kind of sport that anybody can do with any kinds of dogs. There are no restrictions here, concerning for example pure-blooded dogs, even mongrel dogs are often skillful and successful. The age is also not important, agility is done by children, adults and pensioners with dogs of any age. The only qualification is to be willing to learn new things and be disposed to spend some time with his dog doing an interesting activity.
The first step while learning this sport is to get through successive hurdles according to agility rules. After the dog has learnt to react to single commands the second phase is coming when it is time for the whipper to learn. It is far from easy to run next to the dog, remember the track, give commands in time and what is the most important – to motivate the dog. Although a lot of dogs like jumping and running, try to make them jump where you want even in the moment when his dog friend is running past. That is why the most important thing is rewards.
Agility is really one big game and that is why punishments for not proper execution of exercises are not allowable. The whole training is done only by positive hardening. The way how the training is done is from single hurdles through easy combinations to real jumping. There are agility races for competitive dogs , of course. Every year there are about several dozens of them held. At the races dogs are divided into three efficiency classes A1, A2 and A3. Moreover, there are still three size classes – small, medium and large – so that small dogs should not be disadvantaged. During one day usually 80 up to 100 competing pairs meet together and they take part in three or more jumpings. The winner is the team with the smallest number of faults and refusals that has reached the best time.
After the dog has started to learn single hurdles it is necessary to motivate him very strongly. Partly because to execute the exercise partly because to ecekute it as quick and as best as possible. Common rewards are small pieces of various delicacies. It can be small granules, pieces of cheese, meat or sausages. Sponge-biscuits are traditionally popular, too. It is really to observe small size of rewards so that the dog would not be encumbered. In following phases some toys, balls etc. are used. It is important for the dog to be really interested in them and be willing to do something to get them. The most important reward is the praise, of course. In this case you do not need to be afraid that less means more, rather the opposite: the more praise the whipper uses the bigger affect on the dog it can have.
We wish you a lot of delight in spending your free time actively as well as in contingent successes at the races.