With competition season in full swing, dog trainers everywhere are wracking their brains to think of ways they can give their dog the competitive edge when they enter the show ring. Sometimes the best way to get a head start is to follow the lead set by experts. That’s why we’ve teamed up with agility expert Lauren Langman. Lauren competes in Agility at level 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena, and has twice been chosen to represent Great Britain in the World Agility Championship. She is also founder of Devon Dogs and co founder of absoluteDOGS, as well as a family friend of us here at Tug-E-Nuff. We asked Lauren to share her top tips for agility trainers who want to win big at this year’s competitions. Here’s what she said…
- Be prepared and focussed
The results in the ring at big shows are the results of months (and sometimes years) of hard work in training sessions. Preparation is key to success. Have clear goals in mind and work steadily towards achieving them. The trainers that do well in the ring have done their prep, they are focussed and they have it clear in their mind what they want to achieve.
- Celebrate your dog’s personality
Sometimes, success at a big show is as much about the dog’s personality as it is about the amount of hours spent training. It doesn’t matter if you have the best dog toys at hand or if you attend the best training school, your dog needs to be well suited to being in the show ring. Lots of energy, a desire to work hard and a love of life are traits that I see frequently in dogs that enjoy success at big events.
- Make your dog’s well-being a top priority
In my experience, a happy, healthy, well cared for dog performs better in the arena. It’s worth investing in the best quality food for your dog and taking steps to ensure they are in the best physical shape. It’s also important to enjoy your dog. Don’t make life all about reaching training goals – remember to relax and have fun with your dog, too. Your love and attention is one of the biggest motivators.
- Utilise dog toys
Dog toys are a really important training tool and choosing the best dog toys available, such as the range from Tug-E-Nuff
, really can help keep your dog motivated and take your training to the next level. If there is a particular training problem you are struggling with, such as keeping a dog that’s obsessed with food interested in training, the best dog toys – such as The Clam
or the Food Bag with Ball
- are able to help with this.
- Avoid getting stressed out
Big agility events can be daunting for dogs and their owners and it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, particularly if it’s your first time there. My advice is to do whatever you can to stay calm – if you get stressed your dog will pick up on it and won’t perform as well. Try to just enjoy the experience and not think too much about the end result. -- Great tips, Lauren! What big events are you taking part in this year? Come on over to our Facebook
page to let us and other Tug-E-Nuff customers know.