Award-winning dog agility tips
Every year the country's most talented agility dogs and handlers vie with each other in qualifying heats at agility shows across the country to gain a coveted invitation to compete at the Olympia finals. For Lee Windeatt and his dogs, it's the culmination of lots of hard work and training with nutrition playing a key role in their performance on the day.
Putting Verm-X through its paces, Lee shares some winning tips on what makes a dog agility champion:
Rewarding the correct behaviour seems obvious but, what we deem as a reward isn’t often the case. The dog has to really want the reward, i.e. toy, high value treat, etc. Verbal praise is rarely reward enough. Pay them well.
2. Limit Luring
This is tricky but we want to do as little luring as possible, what I mean by this is if we hold a treat above the dog’s nose and lead it into certain positions, then this is luring and the dog isn’t thinking about how it got the reward, it's just following the lure. Ideally we want to shape the behaviours and get the dog offering the behaviour to get the reward.
Communicate with the dog the moment they are doing the correct behaviour, I use the word “Yes” and try to reward as soon as possible.
4. Never tell the dog off
If we use negativity, as in keep saying “No”, or harsh corrections then we are likely to knock the confidence of the dog, and the dog will stop trying.
We've got to train in a happy state. If we feel grumpy then don’t train. We need to be happy and to connect with the dog; interact and smile and be silly. Keep it fun and achievable.
6. Remember Nutrition plays a massive role in behaviours.
Nutrition in children can really affect their behaviour, mood, tolerance and cognitive development, and it's the same with dogs. Feeding a species appropriate diet as natural as possible, limiting toxins and chemicals. This is where Verm-X can come in to keep their intestinal health in great shape.
"The latest studies are showing that over 70 per cent of our immune system is down to gut health so this is an area I concentrate on most to keep them in peak health which affects their mental performance in learning."
Interested to learn more?
The health benefits of owning a pet - read the article.
Taking care of animal health, naturally. Browse the range.
Lee and his dogs in action. Watch a short film.