Fall, winter and spring are agility seasons in the South. Dogs and owners find it too hot to do agility in the heat of the summer. But the rest of the year, it is a wonderful partnership sport to consider doing with your dog.

While agility is certainly not for every dog or owner, there are certain aspects that you might find appealing.

Is your dog active beyond what you can find to do with them? Does your dog like to jump? Does your dog like to burrow under sheets? Does your dog like to run fast? Does your dog like a challenge? Does your dog enjoy being with you one on one? Do you want to try something different?

If you can answer any or all of those questions in the positive, then you might want to try the sport of agility.

Some people think agility is only for very fit, active people – and at the competitive level, they would be correct. But there are forms of agility that that almost anyone can participate in with their dogs. That would be agility for fun!

Agility for fun takes into account that some of us aren’t exactly young and our joints might not be loose, but we can still walk and, if need be, could walk quickly.

Beginner agility can begin on leash so you can have some control of your dog instead of him running to play with the other dogs while we are trying to teach obstacle skills. The course is a bit shorter than a standard course but the number of obstacles is still the same.

The course is compressed, which brings different challenges but also means paying attention is still important. This class is great for people who don’t want to take it too seriously but still want the challenge and joy agility brings to the dog and the relationship dimension it brings between owner and dog.

The dogs will learn bar jumps, double and triple jumps, table, chute, tunnels, tire, dog walk, A-frame, broad jump and teeter totter. Each obstacle poses a different visual, physical and mental challenge to the dog.

The skills include walking a narrow beam, balancing on the teeter, jumping up as well as stretching out, going thru a tunnel where they cannot see you, being enclosed by a tire that moves, climbing and more.

Classes are once a week but the course is open for participants to practice at other than class times. If you are interested in seeing if this is for you and your dog contact me at AlphadogTrainingAcademy@gmail.com for more information.

Abby Bird is owner of Alphadog Training Academy.