3 Reasons why you and your dog should try dog agility

May 18, 2023
dog agility

Dog agility knows no boundaries — it’s a fun and inclusive activity for all dogs and humans. Whether you’re a spirited grandmother teaching a Chihuahua or a dynamic teenager teaming up with a lightning-fast Border Collie, the fun is limitless! The key lies in understanding how to tailor agility to suit your individual team.

At OneMind Dogs, we teach agility from the dog’s perspective. Our goal is to help humans understand the world through their dog’s eyes, so they can start training them in a way that’s truly impactful and rewarding.

Our methodology draws from lessons a deaf Border Collie named Tekla taught our founder, Janita Leinonen. When her dog lost her hearing, Janita needed to adjust her training. She discovered 7 elements of body language that all dogs naturally respond to, and she took what she learned to found the philosophy we use today. Watch a video about Janita and Tekla here.

The OneMind Dogs agility program is unlike any other on the planet. We aren’t just teaching you how to get your dog to negotiate obstacles. We’re showing you what agility looks like from a dog’s perspective and how you can make agility training something you’ll both love to do together. Download our FREE Agility Starter Kit to learn more about our approach to agility.

Let’s look at three of the top reasons why we think agility is the best game you can play with your dog!

sheltie agility

Is dog agility right for me?

No matter what myths you’ve heard before, I’m here to tell you that dog agility is for everyone! It’s great for young dogs, older dogs, handlers of all ages and physical levels. The training is flexible and adaptable, so you can choose exercises that suit you and your dog’s respective levels and goals. You can train in your lounge room, backyard, local park, a club or even on your daily walk!

To start dog agility, you don’t need to be an athlete or have prior experience. Your dog doesn’t need to be a Border Collie, Kelpie or other large, active breed. There are many toy dogs who love learning to play agility with their person and you’ll be amazed at just how enthusiastic and agile even the tiniest dog can be with the right approach!

So, if you think agility looks fun and exciting and you’re looking for something new to try with your dog, then you should definitely give it a try. We truly believe that every dog lover will have a great time bonding with their best friend while learning agility together!

3 Reasons to try dog agility

1. Agility strengthens your relationship and connection with your dog

Transform your everyday interactions with your dog into exciting training sessions that deepen your connection. Through agility, you’ll not only have a blast but also nurture a stronger connection with your best friend. When they trust you more, they find joy in working with you. Instead of ignoring you in favor of playing with other dogs, they’ll focus on you because they know good things will happen when they follow your commands.

As an added benefit, you’ll get to know your dog more deeply through agility training. Brace yourself for the “aha” moments as you discover what truly gets their tail wagging. It’s so much fun discovering your dog’s unique play preferences and unlocking what truly makes them tick. Once you discover that — training becomes super easy! From the hose chasing connoisseurs to the tug-of-war aficionados, every dog has their own playbook.

To make training fun and easy, the most important thing you need to understand is what your dog truly values. Then you can turn that into a reward during training. Doing so sets the dog up for success by building internal motivation. Instead of just striving for endless treats or toys, they’re working hard to get things they personally value.

And when you’re able to give your dog what they love the most, they come to see you as the most fun, exciting person to be around. The effects of positive training through agility carry over into your daily lives, too.

Many owners find that their dog is much happier, well-behaved and focused at home after starting agility.

Through our OneMind Dogs Agility Foundations online program, you’ll discover how to motivate your dog and become the person they love spending time with the most.

2. Agility Is fun and mentally stimulating

All dogs need mental enrichment to lead happy, healthy lives. Enrichment also helps you curb a lot of unwanted behaviors brought on by boredom. We’re talking about chewing, mouthing, digging, barking and so on.

The OneMind Dogs Agility program is the perfect way to stimulate your dog! Together, you both get to use your minds in exciting ways. A lot of students say that, as well as a fun way to stay fit, agility is a great memory game for them and their pups!

Remember, all dogs speak the same language, so any dog can learn agility with us. Agility activates your dog’s natural instincts, and pairs them with cues from a handler to create an amazing, one-of-a-kind game that both you and them will love.

In addition to offering enrichment, mental stimulation also tires your dog out. Using their brains in productive ways makes dogs calmer and happier. Utilizing agility to stimulate your dog is a much more effective way to manage arousal levels than endless games of fetch.

Rather than hype-up and frustrate your dog and then expect them to settle down, agility lets your dog use their brain and body together, so they feel fully satisfied at the end of a session.

Plus, outdoor exercise has been shown to have great mental and physical health benefits for humans and dogs. You both win!

3. Agility provides great socialization and exercise for the both of you

Socialization is critical for raising a happy, well-adjusted dog. Humans also need social contact to feel supported and connected in their lives. Whether it’s in dog agility clubs or even online training groups, getting to meet other people and their dogs and following their journeys is a rewarding experience.

In person, you’ll love getting to know other like-minded people while your dog makes new friends, too!

Another major perk is that your dog learns to focus on you, even with distractions around. Instead of constantly focusing on other dogs, it will learn how to keep its attention on you and the game you are playing together. This ultimately makes the play time they do have with other pups all the more enjoyable too.

As for exercise, agility can be a great way to stay in shape for you and your dog. It’s so much fun, you won’t even realize that you’re working out as you train!

Before you start introducing agility obstacles to your dog (this is after a lot of groundwork, which you can start at home first!), you’ll need to assess their physical condition and make sure they are fit and healthy enough to jump, weave and negotiate steep ramps. If not, take your time building the foundations even more and slowly introducing lowered obstacles to build your dog’s fitness. There’s no need to advance beyond that, if you are doing agility for fun and stimulation rather than competition.

In addition to socialization and exercise, agility allows you to be part of a positive and friendly community. You get to set goals and celebrate achievements with people who share your passion.

Getting Started in Agility

OneMind Dogs is the best place to start agility, especially if you’ve never even thought about trying it until now. Our beginner-friendly lesson videos are designed by expert agility coaches with years of experience training dogs of all shapes, sizes, breeds, and ages. The programs are completely online, so where you live is no barrier and expert coaches are available to give feedback and answer questions throughout your entire journey together with your dog.

Sign up for our online Foundation for Agility program today to access over 70 lessons and step-by-step instructions from professional trainers.

You don’t need any equipment to get started. All you need is a can-do attitude and a dog that wants to play!

Fill out the form below to grab our FREE “Ultimate Agility Starter Kit” and learn more about the fun and addictive game of dog agility. 👇

You might also like…

Dog agility training for puppies: Essential tips and exercises

Dog agility training for puppies: Essential tips and exercises

Starting agility training for puppies isn’t about teaching them cool tricks on agility equipment. It’s about having fun together while building a high level of communication and connection. It’s where the joy of playing together meets the satisfaction of learning something new.

Should you set up a dog agility course in your backyard?

Should you set up a dog agility course in your backyard?

Building a dog agility course in your backyard is a great way to give your dog an outlet to put their speed, smarts, and athleticism to work. Training and playing together builds an incredible bond between you, and is a great way to tire them out and keep them happy. Training agility at home can be a great way to get started in this fun and addictive hobby, as long as it’s done thoughtfully!

Subscribe to our Puppy Training newsletter!