Dog Agility Training History

Dog agility training has been around for a relatively short time. It actually emerged in the 1970s as a form of entertainment. It was created in 1978 by two trainers who were seeking some diversion for dogs between events at a dog show in the United Kingdom. It was introduced at the 1980 Cruft’s dog show by committee member John Varley. It was designed to keep the crowd happy between the different classes and did just that. In fact, the idea of it soon took off after that, even on the other side of the pond. There were rumors of earlier dog agility training but nothing that could be proven. Regardless, it soon took off around the world and grew to the massive proportions it is at today.

In 1986, the first agility group was founded. Called the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), today it’s the leading organization for agility dogs and their owners in the United States. The USDAA might be the pioneer, but there are local groups all over the United States and the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. This sport has become an exciting event for dogs and their owners, and the participation rate rivals that of more staid events, like dog shows and obedience trials.

Agility is a sport for all dogs, a sport for the active and less active dog. It’s a sport for purebred and mixed breed dogs. In short, it’s an all-dog sport that creates a special bond between owner and dog. Unlike obedience trials or dog shows, agility doesn’t restrict any dogs. It’s an equal opportunity sport.

In essence, it is a competitive sport for dog and owner. The two compete together to complete a course within a specified period of time. The course might include any number of obstacles, including ramps, tunnels, see-saws and hurdles. Dogs might be asked to weave through poles or run through a tunnel and then scale a ramp. The sport is as much about the dog’s skill as the skill of the owner or handler, who is challenged to guide the dog through the course at a good clip and by using basic commands.

Dog agility training has been evolving. Its availability has certainly expanded today and is now readily there for owners to take advantage of. With more equipment available and a greater level of competition, you can really get your teeth into it, so to speak!

Better Sports Performance Is Five Factors Away

With regards to sporting performance there are several factors that are considered important. How important each factor is depends largely on the type of activity or the sport being performed. For example, agility might be crucial to a sprinter while muscular endurance is not. Similarly this might be true within a sport as well, for example coordination would be crucial to an NFL quarterback while power might be more important to a blocker, even though they both play the same sport. In addition to physical size and biologically inherent factors, the following are some of the most important factors that can determine performance in sport.

Power

Power, or the development of force in a short amount of time is considered to be one of the more important factors in sports performance. This is true mainly because so many sports are built that way, they require the application of large amounts of force over a short amount of time. Power (also known as speed strength), although similar to strength actually needs to be trained slightly differently. The focus when training for power is the rapid development of force, not just the development of force.

Speed

In many sports, speed is the defining characteristic of high performance levels. As the level of competition progresses, many of the same skills are used however it is the speed of execution that leaves many people behind. The ability to move forward, backward, laterally, stop or start allows an athlete to set-up in a good position to execute a skill (hitting a tennis ball for example) or provides a raw advantage, like the ability to run faster and therefore break away in basketball.

Strength

The ability to produce high levels of force, known as strength is one of the most fundamental performance skills common in athletes. While some athletes and sports may require this more for a variety of different reasons, it is generally accepted that high strength levels are needed to achieve high sporting performance. Not much more to say on this really, just that strength training in one form or another should be a foundation of your training program.

Coordination

Coordination is critical to success in many sports, specifically sports that require athletes to use an implement such as a bat, club, stick or ball to play. Coordination is quite a complex topic, and incorporates how well a person, or their joints handle the application or force and movement with respect to time. Sounds complex right? That’s because it is. Coordination is difficult to measure but is crucial in sports the require hand-eye interactions like baseball or tennis. It is also specific and trainable though, and someone who is considered uncoordinated in soccer can be very coordinated in tennis.

Agility

Agility is kind of a hybrid of speed, coordination and power. Agility in general refers to the ability to quickly and accurately stop, start and change direction. There is also some evidence that agility using an implement can also be different to agility without it, so it might be worth training this factor with the implement your use in hand such as lacrosse stick or tennis racket.

So there you have it, five of the most important factors to reaching high sporting performance. The relative importance of each is dependent on the sport itself and there are several other factors that are arguably equally as important, although they will be discussed in a later article.

Principal Facts About Agility Training For Dogs

Dogs basically spend their entire life running, fetching, jumping, and doing other activities. Therefore, it is very important that they stay in optimum shape in order to be at their best. On that note, agility training for dogs could do just that. This kind of training is commonly used to prepare dogs that are competing for the agility competition. Dog agility is technically an exhilarating and action-packed dog sports that is filled with all sorts of obstacles. The dog and the handler will be graded according to speed and accuracy. Those who have fewer mistakes and the fastest time will emerge as the winners. While training dogs for agility is not a very difficult endeavor, it still requires a considerable amount of time, patience and effort in order to help the dog master the winning performance.

The Essence of Agility Training

Since agility is a complex and quick sport, it is vital that the dog must be well-trained to earn good scores. Normally, handlers who are planning to enter the competition train their dogs very early. In fact, puppies that are 8 to 10 weeks old can already participate in agility training. However, due to their young age, strenuous jumping must be avoided. Older dogs can also be great competitors, but unlike those who trained young, they might take a while to master the skills. Dogs that participate in agility competition require continuous and on-going training. This is necessary due to the following reasons:

to keep the agility dogs in tune with the handler
to effectively follow the commands given by the handler
to adapt the techniques taught by the handler
to learn new skills and stunts
to become physically fit to be able to run faster and jump higher
to be able to go through the course in succession and with precision

What to Expect

Generally, agility training helps dogs to learn new skills, follow commands, and navigate obstacles more accurately. The training allows them to move with precision in order to prevent injury and to get impressive scores. Basic agility training simply teaches dogs to develop obedience skills, which can be easily grasped by dogs of any age. The courses used for agility training can be assembled in either an indoor or outdoor setting. But bear in mind that training the dogs in various locations is critical since agility competitions are usually held in more than one venue. Hence, they should be acclimated in performing in varying locations.

Agility training usually starts by teaching dogs simple commands, like the tunnel. It is crucial that they first acquire fundamental skills so they can easily advance to the complex ones. In the beginning of the training, they will be exposed to the easiest obstacles, but as they gain relevant experiences and become confident, more complex obstacles will be added. Overall, agility training for dogs provides the perfect bonding experience. It allows the dog and the handler to have a fun time together as they become physically fit and mentally alert.

Sport Specific Conditioning For Soccer – Train Like a Pro

Soccer (also known as “football”) is one of the most popular sports in the world, with a growing number of enthusiasts and players world-wide. Despite this fact, strength and conditioning programs for soccer are often neglected or outdated. Except at the professional level, many athletes and coaches still focus only on skill development and endurance training (ie- running), and ignore other important elements of fitness such as:

·Strength and strength endurance

·Speed and power

·Flexibility

·Agility

·Nutrition

Athletes of other popular sports such as hockey or American football typically understand the importance of a complementary strength and conditioning program (especially off-season) to improve their performance, but it seems that some soccer players don’t believe that elements such as strength or power development are necessary for their sport. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In this article I will take a closer look at the different components of fitness involved in the sport of soccer, and then suggest a simple way to organize your high performance training program. I will not be discussing skill development in this article.

Endurance in Soccer

A soccer fitness program should be built around developing a good aerobic base. Several studies into the physiological demands of soccer have shown that outfield players can travel up to 13 km or 8 miles during a 90-minute game. This places a significant demand on the athlete’s cardiovascular system and muscular endurance. Having said that, I believe this is one aspect of training that is already over-emphasized in this sport.

It’s not uncommon to hear of soccer players running for at least an hour at a time several days per week in an attempt to improve their performance on the field. However, if you start to analyze the ‘sport-specific’ requirements of the athletes, you will realize that they are actually engaging in varying intensities of activity for different durations while playing, including: walking, jogging, running, and sprinting, and in various directions. Incorporating interval training into your program, that involves high and low intensities of activity, will provide better results than long duration, low intensity jogging alone.

Strength in Soccer

Strength is an important component of fitness that can benefit athletes in any sport, although it is often viewed as having little importance in soccer. However, strength forms the basis for power and speed. Soccer players also need strength to hold off challenges from opponents. Other benefits of strength training include:

·injury resistance

·leaner body composition

·faster metabolism

·more energy

·greater explosiveness

·improved balance, stability, and agility

·faster recovery

·greater bone density

High level soccer players don’t need to have the same absolute strength as American football players or rugby players, but a properly designed ‘off-field’ strength training program will definitely improve your in performance! Relative strength is more important in soccer than absolute strength. Relative strength is simply your absolute strength in relation to your body weight.

Your strength training program should focus on compound, functional exercises (such as lunges, squats, step ups, pushups, dips, chinups), and take into account balancing the strength of opposing muscle groups (ie- quadriceps vs. hamstrings). Don’t waste your time training solely on machines, and avoid useless, non-functional exercises such as leg extensions. The majority of your exercises should be ground-based, using bodyweight or free weights as resistance, and should involve movement of your full body.

Speed & Agility in Soccer

Another significant component of a soccer fitness program is speed and agility training. The speed of play in today’s game is quicker than ever. While endurance and strength are very important to improving your performance, faster players have a definite competitive edge. You may have better endurance than the next guy, but if he makes it to the ball first it won’t matter that you can run marathons!

A simple speed test is a sprint over 30 yards from a standing start. You can try this yourself and have someone else time you. A sprint time under 5.0 seconds is good. Professional players average around 4.0 seconds.

Power is the combination of strength and speed. A more powerful player is a more formidable player. To improve your speed and explosiveness you should include power movements in your program, such as jump squats, high pulls, power cleans, and push presses, as well as plyometric drills such as box jumps, alternate push-offs, lateral shuffle, and split lunge jumps. Because it is important to have speed endurance, I recommend incorporating these exercises into a circuit training program with high intensity intervals. A typical workout would alternate between power movements for lower body and upper body, with plyometric exercises as intervals. You can conclude your training session with sprint drills and agility work (such as the ‘ladder drill’).

Flexibility in Soccer

Another important aspect of fitness is flexibility. Maintaining a healthy range of motion can be very beneficial, however, few people understand the most effective methods of stretching or when to use them. Many athletes still do passive stretching before their workout or practice, when actually this can diminish performance and increase risk of injury! The safest and most productive way to integrate flexibility training into your routine, is to do a dynamic warm up (walking lunges, bodyweight squats, high knees, butt kicks, arm circles, etc.) before a workout, practice or game, and then spend some time stretching at the end. Also, a better alternative to static passive stretching is static ‘active’ stretching (using your own muscular effort to hold the position).

Nutrition for Soccer

I won’t get too deeply into the subject of sports nutrition here… that’s a whole other article. Suffice it to say that what you eat will directly affect your energy levels, recovery, performance, and health. Here are some basic tips to consider regarding your diet:

·Drink ALOT more water.

·Eat 4-6 smaller meals / snacks each day.

·Eat after exercise, not directly before.

·Each meal should include protein (fish, chicken, eggs, lean meat, poultry, protein shakes, some dairy, etc), and fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.

·Starchy carbs (ie: pasta, potatoes, rice, bread, grains, etc) should be eaten after exercise, or the night before a big game, but otherwise reduced in your diet.

·No sugars, pastries, junk food, pop, chips, alcohol, tobacco, etc.

·Don’t eat before sleep.

·Take fish oil daily.

The Program

Here is a simple way to organize your training, on and off the field:

Your off season weekly gym program should include two strength training days (superset opposing muscle groups using functional exercises) and a speed / power day (explosive weightlifting movements in a circuit, with plyometrics as intervals), in addition to your athletic skill training / practices on the field. Do some agility work and sprint starts at the end of your speed / power circuit. Then include 2 to 3 endurance / cardiovascular training sessions each week as well, running for about 30 minutes with short sprint intervals and hill running… not just long endurance runs.

For in season training, just reduce your training volume and cut back to only one strength workout and one speed / power workout per week. You can adjust the number of endurance training sessions as well, depending on the number of practices or games you have each week.

Speed, Agility, and Quickness – A Developmental Perspective

Speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) training is something that tends to
become a topic of heated discussion. Many coaches feel that the effort put
forth while practicing the sport is sufficient to improve these motor skills.

Their theory is that you cannot get any more sport specific than performing
the sport itself. Therefore, by training that sport, you are developing the
set of athletic skills specifically related to that sport and not wasting time
on unnecessary activities.

By participating in your sport at game intensity, you will learn and develop
Jumping and landing mechanics, acceleration, deceleration, and cutting
mechanics, increase foot speed, and develop everything else that goes
into well rounded athleticism.

The other school of coaching tends to believe that component training, or
breaking complex skills down into trainable pieces, is the best way to go about athletic enhancement. They think that working on each motor skill
independently of the sport and than introducing the corrected skill back
into the sport is much more efficient.

Without question, dynamic human movement is extremely complex. The
simple act of walking involves very in-depth motor programming that
functions on a subconscious reflexive level.

By subconscious reflexive I mean that you do not have to think to execute
complex motor skills. If you had to think about every muscles action
while you walked it would take you days to get from the couch to the

refrigerator and your movements would look very robotic.
This reflexive motor programming starts to develop as an infant. You learn
to do very basic skills, and as you mature, the programming becomes more
complicated as does the movement. As the programming becomes more
complicated, it becomes increasing more resilient to change.

The problem is that a child is typically never truly guided through the
earlier stages of development. As infants they learn to move by trail
and error. Walking, standing, sitting, reaching, rolling over, and all
the other things that are being learned and developed are all self taught.

In North America, as children age and enter preadolescents, they
are typically steered away from programs that focus on physical
development. These children now start to build more complex
programming on top of already faulty self instructed programming.

Developmentally, it is at this age when children are the most “plastic”.
Unfortunately it is also at this age that that the introduction to structured
practice results in them repetitiously ingraining incorrect movement
mechanics.

As a result, we start to see more and more non contact injuries at younger
and younger ages. We also find that correcting these reflexive problems
becomes increasing more difficult.

These types of kids typically face more developmental problems as they
get older. Motor learning research tells us that you go through progressive
stages of learning as you acquire new skill. Some skills are similar to others,
so we are able to skip various initial stages along the way.

When issues exist within theses skipped stages, the latter stages of
Development will be negatively affected. When this happens, time
must then be spent fixing the foundational issues, before efficient motor
programming can continue to occur.

As I mentioned earlier, most motor skills are designed to function without
cognitive control. Once again you do not have to think to walk or run.
Your body will automate the process dependent upon its programming
regardless of right or wrong.

My question than becomes…If your body is running off of reflexive
automated motor programming, how are you going to fix these
developmental issues by playing your sport?

The average human brain does not possess the capacity to multi-task and
efficiently refine or learn distinct foreign skills. Most individuals are not
and can not think about improving a specific motor skill while they are in a
confrontation situation (which is truly the essence of most sport).

If you asked most athletes what they were thinking during such a
confrontational activity (such as being guarded during a lay up)they would
more than likely say, I don’t really remember thinking of anything.
I just did what was natural.

They functioned on preprogrammed information. They functioned reflexively, maybe not efficiently, but definitely reflexively. Did this athlete actually develop or correct any specific motor skill during this situation?

He may have learned how to better cope with the psychological stresses
involved in confrontation. He may have developed a greater efficiency in
coordinating multiple motor skills, which is important if the components are
sound, but he undoubtedly did not improve an individual motor skill.

If the athlete depended on trial and error as a process of learning movement
motor skills throughout his whole life, he probably didn’t know that
a problem existed. If this is the case, than there was definitely no effort
made for correction.

By using SAQ drills, we can isolate problems and try to fine tune erroneous
preprogrammed information while we increase their overall warehouse
of skills. We can break down gross movement skills into components that
allow an athlete to cognitively address issues that tend to be combined
into complex reflexive compound skills.

Each motor skill should than be optimized before the athlete progresses.
If they lack the coordination or ability to perform certain motor skills as
an isolated component, which is many times the case, they lack the ability
to perform them when they are integrated into chaotic confrontational
sporting situation.

Fixing these erroneous motor skills may require 1 repetition or 1000
repetitions depending on the skill and the athlete. Once the athlete
demonstrates proficiency for each individual motor skill, the skills can
than combined into motor skill clusters, or small subsets of motor skills.

When the athlete demonstrates proficiency for coordination of skills within
a subset, subsets can be combined and the process continued.

Part II of this series will deal with the actual neural acceleration (quickness)
elements I utilize in my protocols. I will be discussing how and why I utilize
the specific drills within each workout.

Choosing the Right Sports Accessories for Basketball Training

Playing Basketball is a good way to get in shape. But playing the game is not just about shooting balls through hoops. A person also needs good sports accessories for basketball training to make sure that he gets the best work out possible.

A variety of skills and techniques are needed to successfully play Basketball. Some of these are agility, balance and shooting. For professional basketball players, most of these skills are inborn. However, by using the proper sports accessories for basketball training, these skills can actually be learned and developed.

Agility

Agility is the ability of a person to rapidly move or switch positions without losing balance. This is important when dodging enemies and driving for the basket. A good accessory for developing this skill is the Agility Ladder. The agility ladder is basically a flat ladder that is placed on the ground. Two ladders are used for this exercise, one for each foot. The goal is to alternately place a foot into the square space in between the ladder steps one at a time. The agility ladder helps improve a person’s footwork and coordination. It also helps with speed and balance.

Balance

Balance is a person’s ability to maintain the line of gravity (basically a straight vertical line) without swaying, falling or stumbling. One of the best sports accessories for basketball training that develops balance are Disc Pillows.

Disc Pillows are basically discs that are filled with air. The idea is to do exercises such as squats or stomach exercises while standing or sitting on the discs. Because they are filled with air, they make standing or sitting unstable. However, if a person can properly do the exercises on top of the pillows while still maintaining stability, it means that the person has improved balance and coordination.

Shooting

Since shooting the ball is the basic skill needed to play basketball, it is also the most important skill that must be developed. Shooting gloves and shootings straps are excellent sports accessories for basketball training that can help develop the shooting skill.

Gloves and straps are placed on the dominant or shooting hand of a player. These devices help in the correct positioning of the hand prior to shots. They also force the wrist to fully flex backwards, making every shot more powerful. Once the player gets used of the position and movements, the devices can then be taken off.

There are many other skills needed to play basketball. It’s good to talk to a trainer before buying any sports accessories for basketball training to know which ones are for what skills.

Basic Bowling

This is an article you will want to read if you have an interest in the sport of bowling. Many people regard bowling as a recreational activity and it certainly is that. However, what many people do not realize is that bowling requires skills and agility. While the vast majority of people bowl for leisure there are many of those who also consider it a competitive sport. This is why there are so many selections in bowling shoes, bowling balls, and bowling accessories. There are some who even consider many of the bowling shoes available to be a fashion statement. My own daughter thought I was really cool when she found out I owned a pair of bowling shoes. She told me I should wear them to just knock around in.

As for the skills and agility required; Most people realize the objective of the game is to roll a ball that weighs anywhere from 8 – 16 pounds down a 42″ wide by 16′ / 10-3/16″ long wooden or synthetic path, also known as a lane, and knock over 10 standing pins. While this seems simple enough, the combined and timed activities required to accomplish this task perfectly are very challenging. 13 strikes in a row (a strike is knocking down all pins on one roll of the ball) is a perfect game when done from 1st frame through the 10th. The total score of performing this perfection is 300. Doing this is about equal to the task of a hole in one in golf. It is not an impossible task to bowl a perfect game of 300 but it is very difficult. Lets take a look at the basic skills involved.

Approach – You must have a smooth and timed approach. Too quick to the line and the ball trails causing you to foul or drop the ball before you are ready to release. Too slow on the approach and the ball can jerk out of your hand in an uncontrolled release and you have lost control over the path of the ball down the lane.

Swing – The timing of the swing of your arm must be in relation to the approach. If your swing is not in time with your approach the entire process becomes very cumbersome. Too far back on your swing and the ball may roll uncontrollably down the lane. Not far enough back on your swing and there is no power in the ball and it leaves pins standing.

Knowledge of the lane conditions – Is the lane dry or oily? Dry lanes can cause your ball to grip the lane more quickly and put more curve on the roll than you want. Consequently, an oily lane can keep your ball from curving enough.

Equipment Knowledge – Are you using a hard ball or a soft ball? If your lane is oily it might be better for you to use a soft ball for more lane grip. If the lane is dry you might need to use a harder ball that would naturally have less tendency to adhere to the friction of the drier lane.

The Future of Sports – Mental Processing Drugs and Potential Cheating

Over the years, I found that some of the best athletes in certain highly technically skilled sports were also quite intelligent and able to process information extremely quickly. Indeed, that was a category I was in, and I did quite well in fast-paced, high action sports which required lots of agility, skill, will, and visual mental processing. One thing I learned as a track star, which is another sport I excelled at when I was a much younger and less humble man, was that it was obvious when certain atheletes were using less-than-legal enhancements.

No, I never wanted to do that my body, nor did I feel the need to cheat, I had the ability to compete without cheating, or I probably wouldn’t have competed at all. Nevertheless, in the future it is obvious to me that the sports which require fast visual mental processing and we may indeed find athletes using mental processing drugs, rather than the illegal substances of the past or present period. Let me explain.

In my younger days, I used to race street bikes, and I’m sure you’ve seen videos with riders on crotch rockets going around turns with their knee on the ground, well then, that would have been me. It requires intense attention to detail, quick reactions, and extremely acute mental process. It also requires the ability for your adrenaline to put you in a state of slow-motion occasionally. For those who have ever competed in the zone, you know what I’m talking about.

Now then, I don’t doubt there are drugs, and mental stimulants that will help competitors and athletes in such situations. I have no idea what those drugs might be, but I suppose they might be a blend of a special pharmaceutical concoction, with other mental stimulants. No, I’ve never take any of those either, but it would make sense for players who are competing in grand champion soccer events, baseball, and racecar driving to use such things.

Perhaps they already do, as I’ve been out of the competitive scene for quite a while, almost a couple of decades now, so I really can’t say, but I can definitely understand the allure and the superior advantage. Are they testing for such drugs? I bet they aren’t, I bet they are only testing for illegal type drugs, but you can imagine how such mental stimulating drugs, whether in the future the various sports authorities deem them to be illegal or not, would work great in karate, boxing, baseball, cricket, soccer, hockey, and racing.

Just about any super high paced sport. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this, and think on it. Also consider your position as a fan, and whether or not such enhancement drugs should be allowed for faster mental processing, and if they should be regulated. Currently, I am writing an e-book on the future of sports, so if you have any knowledge in this matter I’d love to hear your concerns, comments, and/or observations. I’m also interested in case studies.

Lance Winslow is the Founder of the Online Think Tank, a diverse group of achievers, experts, innovators, entrepreneurs, thinkers, futurists, academics, dreamers, leaders, and general all around brilliant minds. Lance Winslow hopes you’ve enjoyed today’s discussion and topic. http://www.WorldThinkTank.net – Have an important subject to discuss, contact Lance Winslow.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Lance_Winslow/5306

What Makes Fencing A Great Sport?

A good fencing match is a high-intensity melding of combat and ballet. The warriors push each other up and down a fencing strip with light flashing off their blades as they thrust, parry, attack and evade. While nobody jumps over rocks or retreats up stairs a la the Princess Bride, there is a great, dynamic aspect to the sport.

Coordination, speed, agility and self-assurance are just a few of the qualities this sport requires of its participants. Fencing’s intensity and demands for physical and mental acuity are a natural result of fencing’s violent history. And while fencing has morphed from combat to sport, these skills are a large part what make fencing such an exhilarating endeavor. A successful fencer must be capable of mounting powerful driving attacks or conversely, of making subtle and crafty defenses, all within the space of a few seconds. Speed and strength will only take an athlete so far in fencing: intellect is paramount. A good fencer must be clever and with unwavering concentration able to conceive and execute calculated moves quickly. The spirit of fair play and honor is an integral part of fencing. A maximum of politeness and consideration is always observed while competing with others. Fencing is as much an attitude as it is a sport and those who participate in fencing find that it can profoundly affect their lives.

Some form of fencing has been around for centuries. In fact, fencing is one of only four events to have been contested at every Olympics since the modern Olympic Games started in 1896. As fencing has moved away from warfare, several offshoots have developed: fencing as art and fencing as sport.

Fencing is a life-long sport that welcomes swashbucklers of all ages. You can learn it when you’re young, or when you’re young at heart. While most sports only reward speed or power, fencing lets you choose whether you are going to win by using your speed, or using your guile – which allows the parents to teach their children a thing or two while the children do the same to us.

While there are benefits in terms of having something unusual and conversation provoking to put on a college resume, the true benefits of fencing go much, much deeper. By learning fencing, a child learns self discipline, respect for others, independence and the importance of honesty and fair play. Such skills are transferable to any endeavor and help to create a well rounded and active person.

C Harkins runs Fencing.Net – with resources on Olympic Fencing and also has a Sport Fencing Equipment Store that offers a wide range of fencing blades, uniforms and other gear for beginning to advanced competitors.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/C_Harkins/72415

Dog Training – How to Train Your Dog to Be Very Agile

Here in this Article, I am going to dwell on agility training for any Dog.

Dogs can be trained for shows, sports and other activities where the proud owner can show off its ability to perform certain feats. Horses were one of the first animals to go on stage with their feats but today other animals have joined. In fact many are learning to be on stage. This can be seen mainly in circuses or shows where the animal is judged as the best depending on its appearance, its agility and ability to perform certain feats.

Dogs are being trained to perform many feats whereby their agility is judged. Agility training covers areas of sports such as jumping, obstacle climbing and interweaving through poles. The training was framed on the lines of the horse jumping shows. For feats such as these the size of the dog matters. Small to medium sized dogs are best for agility training even though all dogs are fairly agile.

Before a dog is started on an agility training it should be examined by a Veterinarian. One of the criterion for such training is that the dog is able to obey basic commands like “sit”, “stand”, “lie down”, “bring”, “come” and such other commands. Some dogs can be trained to discover or search out things. If a dog responds correctly to such commands then it will be possible for it to learn the commands of the sport when agility training is given. The trainer should endeavor to make the training fun rather than difficult and tiresome for the dog. Moreover the trainer should avoid being too critical or harsh when training. Animals have feelings too!

The training starts with simple feats as jumping over a horizontal bar or going under a horizontal bar. You should start low and increase the heights gradually. Gradually as the dog picks up and masters one feat, the next feat is introduced. One after another obstacles like ramps and tunnels are incorporated. The agility skill will determine a dog’s ability to compete and learn higher and more difficult feats. Such training takes days for the dog to relate what is expected of it in agility training. The trainer needs to understand the dog’s behavioral pattern before putting it through the training. Try to be friends with the dog.

The dog needs to be rewarded for his or her efforts. The reward may be by way of goodies or loving words and praise, or even a pat. Any activity performed or even a good behavior should always be rewarded for the dog to know that it has done the correct and expected feat according to the command. No training or teaching should go un-rewarded if you want your dog to learn a sport or feat or activity. Reward is the language they understand. Remember the saying, give a dog a good name…..

At the competition or the show the direction of the particular obstacle to be tackled is predetermined. The handler uses a leash to keep the dog in control and direct it towards the obstacle.

On completion of the agility feat or performance the owner of the dog receives the prize title, while the dog is rewarded with praise and goodies or toys.

Okereke Uma is an Internet Wealth Consultant, Writer, Marketer, and CEO – http://www.EwealthSuccess.com and a few other Internet Businesses. For more free info or resources on how to train your Dog, simply click below and visit: [http://www.dogtrainingimpact.com/]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Okereke_Uma/144213