Training Dog Agility by Yourself 一 How to Get Started

At OneMind Dogs, we live for effective dog training, from the dog’s point of view. We developed our training method through years of experience and a passion for helping handlers connect with their dogs. But, though we use professional techniques and best practices, we also believe in making them accessible. 

That means giving you the power to start dog agility training right where you are. From your backyard to the local park, our Foundation for Agility program is designed for all dogs, even puppies. You don’t need any equipment to start building that magical connection with your canine companion today!

But is dog agility training really that easy for beginners? With our online training, it can be.

It’s easy to get started 

The technical aspect of agility training can be intimidating at first, which is one reason we emphasize fundamentals. Practicing jumps, weaves, and contact obstacles is great when you’re working towards a competitive level, but that’s not where true development starts. 

Agility should be fun for your dog and strengthen the bond between the two of you. When you focus on making each session playful and enriching, you can lay a solid foundation for more complex training in the future.

Customers often ask us if their puppies are too young for agility training. Certain obstacles and exercises can certainly be too much for them early on. They still need to develop physically and mentally before attempting more complex techniques. 

Done right, however, puppies can start agility training without straining their soft, growing bodies. Keep in mind that puppies start “training” just by playing with you!

The OneMind Dogs Foundation for Agility program focuses on super simple exercises that even the youngest dogs love. They feel like playtime more than agility training. That’s the best way to develop an early connection and a love to play in a safe environment.

Video your training

Not sure if you’re ready to run sessions by yourself? Don’t worry! Our Agility Foundation course is designed to support you as the handler too. We use a step-by-step guided course structure that takes you through everything you need to start today. 

The course gives you access to over 70 bite-sized lessons that are easy to follow and apply. We pair each lesson with a video tutorial and text explanations for the best tips. You can replay the videos as often as you need, and our training experts are on hand to answer any questions in chat.

They’ll coach you through the best way to run courses at every level. Best of all, you can get detailed, high–quality feedback on the video sessions you record with your dog. 

Recording your training is as easy as setting your mobile device on a tripod. You can find affordable ones on eBay or use the DIY option 一 simply prop it up against something! Just make sure you get as much of the training area into the frame as possible. Setting your phone or tablet on a high platform is the easiest way to widen the field of view.

When you’re done recording, you can edit the video on your smartphone or desktop/laptop. We’ve kept this simple too. All you have to do is trim the video down by cutting the gaps between exercises. This will keep the file small so it doesn’t fill up your device storage too fast.

Once uploaded, training videos can be watched in slow motion to see how your handling is affecting your dog. We check for details like what your dog looks at when running a course and if you’re staying connected throughout. 

These are the subtle things that tend to get lost when we don’t start with fundamentals, and they really make ALL the difference. OneMind Dogs online subscriptions get you the feedback you need to make the most of training, straight from our coaching team. 

We don’t just cover the sessions you’ve done either. We can also suggest ideas on what to train next based on you and your dog’s needs.  

Your dog is your best coach

As much as we’re the experts, no one understands dogs better than the dogs themselves. Everything we do focuses on communicating in ways your dog naturally understands. This helps them grasp concepts more intuitively during training while nurturing that all-important connection.

When you use a handling method your dog can understand instinctively, it’s easier for them to give you feedback too. Successful runs are more than the result of hours spent on a training course. They’re the clearest sign that you and your dog are speaking the same language and communicating as one.

Dogs that don’t quite understand your method will struggle when it comes time to train specific drills like weaving and turning. This usually comes down to the non-verbal information you convey when handling and training. If something in your body language is unclear, it means your dog is reading conflicting cues.

Unclear body language creates confusion, which can lead to frustration, refusals and knocked bars. Our training videos help you with all 7 handling elements so any missing links in your communication is always easy to pick up.

If you still can’t figure out why your dog isn’t reading the right cues, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. All you need to do is contact our coaches with a video. We’ll guide you through the best adjustments to progress quickly.

The fundamentals taught here will help you both in the long run. As you grow more confident in your handling, so will your partner on the agility course. When your dog understands your handling method better, they’ll pick up new skills in no time!

By the end, you’ll have mastered the fundamentals of agility training at home. You’ll have the tools and real-world examples to hone your handling method for seamless training. The goal is to give you confidence and connection with your dog as you do fun things together. You will feel like two souls with one shared mind!

With practice comes the ability to keep cool in any agility situation. Preventing frustration is super important to keep your team’s motivation high! Lastly, remember the rule of 2 if you want to maintain that level:

  • 2 successful repetitions in a row? Change something!
  • 2 failed repetitions in a row? Change something!

Watch our FREE webinar to learn more

Sign up for our on-demand webinar on succeeding in training agility by yourself using the form below:

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