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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Should You Get Professional Dog Training For Agility?

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Professional dog training can give your dog a real advantage, whether he's training for agility competition or just needs to learn basic obedience. While many people can get by with teaching their dog themselves, just as you consult a personal trainer to help with your exercise needs, or send your children to school to learn from teachers, most dogs can benefit from the input of a seasoned pro.

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Of course it's easy to see how a dog trainer could help with agility work, which takes quite a bit of focused and detailed training to pick up complex commands such as "fast," "slow," "right," "left" and "away." Agility training builds on the basics of obedience and incorporates these other commands in order to allow dog and handler to quickly move through intricate courses full of special obstacles like hoops, tunnels, A-frames and poles.

But as with most things in life, you have to learn to crawl before you can run. For dogs, this means picking up the basics of obedience, learning to "sit," "stay" and "heel" and forming a bond with you as his handler. With the guidance of professional dog training you and your dog can both gain a firm understanding of the obedience commands and how best to implement them.

Blue merle Australian Shepherd on agility teeter.

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This can be important even if you have no intention of ever going near an agility course. All owners want a dog that will listen and follow commands. Proper obedience training can make even the everyday activities like going for a walk or visiting the dog park a lot easier. You can feel much more confident if you know that your dog will pay attention to you and not just run off and do his own thing.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Professional Dog Training Can Help Address Specific Issues

Of course, professional dog training can also come in handy if your dog has a particular problem that he needs to overcome, such as jumping on people, barking too much, or being too aggressive with people or other dogs. Many trainers have special techniques to help dogs overcome such issues and to help owners understand how to address them in a reasonable manner. For example, professional dog trainer, "Doggy Dan" offers a video-based online dog training program that covers everything from basic obedience to specific behavior problems like those mentioned.

If you do decide to get in on the fun of agility competition, having a good background in basic obedience is absolutely essential. Since the entire idea of agility is having the dog run the course at your command, he must be able to follow those commands and be disciplined enough not to get distracted. This will come easier for some dogs than others and for those who need an extra boost working with a professional trainer may just be the answer.

Professional dog training will allow you to feel more comfortable handling your dog and can teach you the benefits of introducing new challenges gradually so that your dog doesn't get overwhelmed. This is important at every level of dog training, from basic obedience on up, because a dog that isn't happy won't be able to learn properly.

Whether you just want to teach your dog basic commands, need to break him of a bad habit, or you want to put him through the paces of agility competition, there is no reason why you should have to go it alone in training. Consider getting professional dog training so that you and your best friend can get off on the right foot every time. icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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