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 example, when dealing with older dogs or young puppies, you would need to use a different training approach.

A puppy can have physical and mental obstacles for agility training because he hasn’t yet matured enough to grasp the training principles. And naturally, an older dog would have his share of difficulty because of advanced age and additional body stress due to the aging process.

In the case of puppy agility training, it is easy to start their training once they are small before gradually increasing the intensity and frequency as time passes. Start it off simple – have your puppy go across small obstacles placed on the ground. Your puppy wouldn’t be physically ready yet for pipe tunnels, so you can try boxes instead and place them on the floor for your puppy to navigate.

Most puppies will find agility training stressful and unpleasant, so you need to lighten their load by making the experience a fun time and a chance to play. Once your puppy has reached a stage where it’s bigger in body and stronger mentally, you can take the agility training to the next stage.

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. This may depend largely on the dog’s breed. For example, a big dog will age quickly as compared to a smaller one.

But regardless of your dog’s age, you need to evaluate it all throughout to determine the pitfalls or drawbacks of its upcoming agility training. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to give too much training to a dog who is overweight or a dog who has medical issues.

But in the above case, it often takes the right amount of conditioning to prepare your dog for agility training. Dogs who have had previous agility training but have been inactive for a while may need some warm-up exercises to get it back in the game.

With agility training, the dog is doing more than just lying around on the couch or flitting around in the backyard. Dogs training for agility are like humans training for their own sports, in the sense that they need proper conditioning to ensure greater chances of success.

Because it’s a very active sport, you need to be aware of the stress it places on your dog during agility training. Not all dogs can easily handle triple jumps or 180-degree turns, just like not all of us can dunk a basketball like Dr. J and Michael Jordan back in the day. Make sure you monitor your dog for injuries and have it seen by a veterinarian if you notice anything suspicious.

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