Human Benefits of Participating in Agility

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.