Max: What kind of personality does best for dog agility?
If I want a dog for dog agility, should I look for one that is laid back? Very outgoing? Somewhere in between?
Answer by Larinda
Try to look for a very trainable, energetic dog that has the stamina to go through agility training. You need a dog that is also very loyal and friendly ( such as a pit-bull).
Answer by Kristen
You want a dog that is eager to please and loves to run and play with you. A dog that is very food or toy motivated and willing to do a lot for one piece of food is good. Too scared or shy isn't ideal, but neither is too happy going and boisterous. You want a happy medium of the two, a dog that has confidence enough to do scary obstacles, but not so much carelessness that they will do things like fly off the teeter. These last things aren't as important, because you can train your dog to have more confidence or to be more careful, but it is always important that you have a motivated dog. Dogs that are not eager to please you are really difficult to train in agility.
Answer by Mica
The dog with lots of Agility potential is outgoing, athletically built, food and/or toy motivated, confident and able to quickly bounce back after a stressful or climatic experience, intelligent (doesn’t have to be extreme), eager to please, and should love working with you. However, you could get the world’s best Agility dog, but without the proper training and raising, it could turn into the world’s worst. So a lot has to do with how you raise the puppy, how you train him/her, and the expertise of you and/or your agility instructor and mentor. Herding dogs such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Collies, Australian Shepherds etc. normally have most of these qualities (with the right training and raising), and are therefore the most popular Agility breeds. Papillons and Jack Russels are also very popular, but generally any dog with the right training and character qualities can do incredibly well. This book on Amazon (#ad) was incredibly helpful for me when I just started: The Beginner's Guide to Dog Agility as well as many of the books from Cleanrun and the Cleanrun dog agility magazine (worth every penny). Hope this helps, and have fun, Agility is such a blast!
As others have mentioned, any physically sound, confident, eager to please dog will do for your first Agility dog, a border collie (some mentioned that they knock bars, this almost always just means that the dog doesn’t know how to jump correctly, and lacks essential jumping skills and foundation work), anyways, a BC might be too much for you the first time, and it would be better to start with something a little less intense. You might even find the perfect one at your local shelter. Just let them know that you’re looking for a dog with Agility potential. Most shelters will either have, or quickly obtain these dogs.
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