It doesn’t matter what age your dog is for you to begin agility training, but you have to respect the obstacles a dog may have in performing. For instance, very old or very young dog can have limitations set forth by its age.
A puppy can have physical and mental obstacles for agility training because he hasn’t yet matured enough to grasp the training principles. An older dog may be limited in agility training because he is unable to perform due to stress on its body after aging.
With puppy agility training, you need to start off small and increase the training as time goes on. Start by allowing your puppy to cross bars and boards that are on the ground. Since it may not be ready for pipe tunnels, you can try using boxes on the floor instead.
If the puppy is hesitant during the agility training, you can start out making it a fun time playful experience to get him used to the new experience. As his attention span grows and he’s physically able, you can take the agility training one step further.
If you are raising an older dog and are unsure what obstacles it will face during agility training, know that a dog is considered a “senior citizen” at around eight years old. Breed factors into the aging process. If you have a small dog, then it will age later than a large breed will.
With any dog of any age, you’ll want to evaluate it specifically for obstacles it may face that prevent excessive agility training. If the dog is overweight, it can impede its physical performance, just as a health condition can attribute to a poor performance ability.
Sometimes all it requires is some conditioning to get the dog up to par for agility training. Or, if it has previous experience but hasn’t trained in awhile, it might just need a refresher course to get back on track.
With agility training, the dog is doing more than just lying around on the couch or flitting around in the backyard. It’s doing major physical work, so your dog may have to build up its endurance just as a human does during sports training.
Because it’s a very active sport, you need to e aware of the stress it places on your dog during agility training. Your dog may not be able to handle a triple jump, dive into a tunnel, or 180-degree turn. Make sure you monitor your dog for injuries and have it seen by a veterinarian if you notice anything suspicious.