Promoting agility in a senior dog

by Vivien Richardson on February 5, 2011

Dog agility is good for dogs of all ages, and sporting events are arranged by owners of dogs to meet and have fun with their pets by competing against other neighbouring teams.

These events rely on speed and performance; however a senior dog can also benefit and have fun from dog agility training.

Agility with a treadmill:

doggy-treadmillIf your dog tends to put on weight in the colder months of the year, or he is losing some of his agility, then a slow walk on a tread mill is ideal.

Walking on a treadmill is an excellent way for a dog to get used to a certain amount of daily exercise, and it’s great if it is pouring down with rain outside but it should not be used as a replacement for walking outside in the fresh air.

Use his treats sparingly when introducing your pet to the treadmill and place the speed on the slowest setting. Be patient, if your dog is small in stature why not join him on the treadmill?

Tunnel activity:

We recognise that there are some dogs that are not able to join in with fun and games that involve running about due to the fact they are no longer agile or have health problems; however they can still have fun.

It is worth purchasing a tunnel from a children’s toy shop as a training tool.

If your dog is elderly, you can place a small treat in the middle of the tunnel to entice him to go into the tunnel then, while he is eating his treat, encourage him to come to you at the other end of the tunnel, when he eventually reaches you give him another small treat with plenty of praise.

It may take quite a bit of encouragement from the dog owner at first, but a dog will soon catch on and he will look forward to his time spent with you.

It is worth remembering that a mature dog’s body may have slowed up, but he or she still has a mind that is active and will enjoy this type of activity.

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