Agility is a rapidly growing recreation within the United States for dog owners. Agility is a dog sport that requires human handlers to guide their dog through an obstacle course. The goal in completing the course is to be the fastest team while collecting the least number of faults. There is a niche community built around the sport that ranges from avid competitors to hobbyist handlers that participate. Research in the sport of agility has primarily focused on the dogs that compete. This original research previously found that dogs gain many benefits from participating in the sport. One of the benefits for dogs is the improvement in their overall health. Since the agility is a team sport between dogs and humans, one has to assume if previous research has confirmed that the dogs in the teams receives health benefits then the human handlers must receive some benefits as well since they participate in completing the course with the dog. Research in this field of questioning the benefits of participating for the handlers only began in the early 2000’s, but is quickly expanding. This new research has presented strong evidence into the benefits in health for human handlers. These benefits in health for human handlers for participating in agility can be examined within the three different categories: physical, mental, and emotional.
I have recently have competed in several trails with my dog, Belle. It was super fun and tiring. We have won a few ribbons for some, and lost in others. I am happy to say despite that we are still trying to compete in some more. Though I did make a few rookie mistakes. I was a little under prepared for parts of the trails when I first started competing. When I talked to the veterans of the sport, I found that I wasn’t the first amateur to make this mistake. Hence, I decided to share my experience on my blog and how to avoid the mistakes I made.
Agility is one of the greatest dog sports that you can join in. I was so excited to complete our first AKC agility trail after a year of training at What A Great Dog! It can be confusing trying to figure out all the procedures and processes at your first trail. So I compiled a list of FAQs I had and I was thankful someone told me about when I was at the trail.