Learning agility handling techniques with your dog has many benefits

agility handling technique

So you’ve learned all the foundation skills for dog agility. It’s exciting, right? We bet that you can’t wait to start running agility courses! The adrenaline of running with your dog and seeing them look like a “real agility dog” is so much fun. But before you start running long sequences and full courses, we highly recommend spending time learning the individual agility handling techniques with your dog.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how learning these techniques will help you and your dog have fun, learn together, and form a connection.

The benefits of learning agility handling techniques with your dog

There are so many reasons why you should learn the different handling techniques with your dog. Here are some of them:

  • You’ll grow to understand how your dog reads your body language
  • You’ll learn how the 7 handling elements influence your dog
  • You’ll give your dog confidence and independence
  • You’ll get a great balance of obstacle and handler focus
  • The handling will become “automated” so you can focus on connection
  • You’ll learn about your individual dog and what they need

Our tips for starting your dog’s agility handling training at home

You can learn and practice agility handling techniques in your own backyard! With OneMind Dog’s handling techniques program, you can learn from our experts and go at your own pace. Here are some essential tips for how to start your dog’s agility handling training at home.

Even better, you can video your dog’s agility training and send the videos to our coaches so we can help you nail each of the techniques right from the start. There’s no need to get frustrated or confused.

First, learn the agility handling techniques by yourself

At OneMind Dogs, our handlers practice handling techniques a lot without their dogs, so that they can really learn the technique first by themselves. This can save the dogs from a lot of confusion during training.

Our handling techniques will mostly come naturally to your dog. That means once you’ve got the hang of the techniques by yourself, you’ll only need a few repetitions with your dog before you both nail it- no boring drilling required.

Start with one jump

You only need to have one jump to learn most handling techniques. This is great because it’s easy to get set up in your backyard and get started with training.

Learning just one technique at a time is a good idea because it helps you keep things clear, increase your mutual understanding, and learn how to communicate with your best friend.

Once you’ve got the hang of that one technique, you can get started with the other techniques much more easily because you will have a deeper understanding and connection with your dog.

Practice until it becomes automatic

As you become more and more aware of how to interact with your dog, it benefits your agility training hugely. When agility handling techniques become automatic, a whole new way of looking at agility will open up for you. Leading OneMind Dogs Coach Janita Leinonen says:

After doing the individual techniques the same way each time for a while, you don’t have to consciously think about the execution. Your performance starts to happen automatically, and you don’t have to think about the handling elements anymore.

When the techniques start to be automated, you will have more capacity available in your mind to focus on connection with your dog and seeing the commitment, so your timing will improve ten-fold.”

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes

When you’re learning the fundamentals of handling techniques, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Janita reminds us that “If something doesn’t go according to plan, it is just information for you to change some aspect of your body cue and when you do so, see the response you get from the dog and learn from it. So embrace mistakes and see them as a way to learn. Training the techniques is a great way for the dog and handler to learn from each other.”

Set yourself up for success with our Handling Techniques Program

Want to tap into the benefits of learning handling techniques early on? OneMind Dogs’ Handling Techniques Program teaches you more than 30 different techniques that consist of combinations of all the different types of handling: movement, position, eyes, chest laser, feet, hands, and verbal commands.

Even if you have a very young dog, every handling technique in our program is broken down into small, easy-to-follow details that make it easy for both you and your dog to learn and there’s no need to make the jump high. You can start with a bar on the ground or even just a jump wing or a tree for example!

This will become an incredible bonding experience for you and your dog, with lots of rewards for them along the way to make the whole learning journey fun and easy to understand.

Tap into the benefits of learning agility handling techniques

Remember, you’ll have your best training expert and coach with you the whole time: your dog. He’ll tell you how he interprets your body cues with his body language.

Ready to experience a whole new world of growth and bonding with your dog? Start learning the techniques today!

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