The Agility Trial is one of the three main trials a dog can participate in. It is specifically designed for dogs who are of average size and weight. There are three different distances a dog can sprint; the farther the dog runs, the more points they will score. The farther the dog climbs, the more points they will score. The closer a dog walks to their owner, the more points they will score.
The reason these three distances exist is because the majority of dogs (if not all) love to chase moving objects and/or run around when they are excited. It is perfectly normal for a dog to want to score as many points as possible during a trial; that is why they are called “Agility Trials.”
However, there are some things your dog may do that are not typical of a fast dog. Here is a short guide to what you can expect from your canine companion during a typical agility trial:
Dog Walking And Chasing
If your dog is a typical small and light dog, they will mostly walk around looking at things and occasionally looking up at you with their big brown eyes. Most likely, you will notice that they are constantly moving their head from side to side as they walk. This is because they are searching for things to chase and for other dogs to bite.
If you are running an obedience trial with your dog, they will sit calmly next to you at the beginning of the game and wait for your command to begin chasing. At the end of the game, they will again sit calmly next to you waiting for their treat.
If your dog is a medium-sized dog, they will likely walk around with a casual swagger as they try to impress onlookers with their athletic prowess. During a game, they will constantly be stopping to sniff the ground and look at things in their path. It is not uncommon for your dog to chase after a tennis ball that is thrown in their direction or to playfully bite strangers who laugh at their antics. Chasing other dogs is also a common occurrence during an agility trial.
If your dog is a large or giant breed, they may have to adjust their behavior to fit within the confines of an agility trial. For instance, a Rottweiler may not be able to run as fast as a small dog, so they will have to modify their behavior. Additionally, large dogs may have to refrain from attacking other dogs during a trial.
Laying Down By The Sea
If you live near a body of water, such as the ocean or lake, your dog may enjoy laying down by the shore. They may even go so far as to take a nap while watching the waves roll in. If you discover this behavior and decide to take advantage of it, you can set up a “napping spot” by the beach. One of the best things about this spot is that it is completely private. You can enjoy a morning walk by the water with your dog while discreetly avoiding prying eyes. This behavior is perfectly normal for dogs and they will not feel excluded because they cannot swim or fish like humans can.
However, if you have an anxious or shy dog, this behavior can make them act out. If you find that your dog is constantly looking out to sea, licking their paw and acting nervous or anxious in any way, this is a sign that they could be sensitive to loud noises or other outside stimuli. In this case, taking them to a secluded area may help them relax and feel more comfortable around new people or environments. If possible, it would be good to try and desensitize your dog to these things over time so they become more accustomed to new situations and activities. This could help improve their quality of life and make them happier and more comfortable around other dogs or humans.
Playing In The Snow
Some dogs enjoy the snow on occasion and will go outside to play in it. However, the majority of dogs cannot stand the cold weather and will avoid it like the plague. If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that gets a good amount of snowfall, you can take your dog out for a short snow walk. When the snow melts at the end of the season, you can continue the game on the golf course or some other outdoor space. Alternatively, you can take your dog to a heated indoor space where they can enjoy the game without being exposed to the elements. This game is a great way to burn off excess energy and is a good way to strengthen your bond as a family unit.
If you play in the snow with your dog regularly, they will begin to enjoy the cold weather and the feel of the fresh powder under their feet. They may even look forward to the snow days and their time outside playing in the snow. However, keep in mind that the longer you play in the snow, the harder it will be to take your dog out afterwards. Exposing your dog to the cold for too long could cause them to suffer from frostbite or hypothermia. Always play in the snow for only a short period of time until you can take your dog inside where it is warm. You should also never play in the snow after sunset because of the increased risk of falling over due to decreased visibility.
Looking Up At You
Some dogs will give you the eye contact while you are playing with them. If you interact with your dog regularly while walking or playing, they may begin to look up at you as you talk to them. In these instances, they are not staring at you in a judgmental way but they are simply looking at what their owner is doing. It is not uncommon for dogs to look up at their owners as a way of showing respect and interest. This behavior is completely natural and does not mean that your dog is trying to be aggressive or even pose a threat to you.
If this behavior continues and your dog begins to look up at you while you are playing, it could signify that they have low self-esteem or feel insecure around new people or environments. In these instances, it could be helpful to lower your dog’s cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) through activities like obedience training or social encounters with willing dogs or other animals. Through gradual desensitization, you can help your dog become more confident while improving their social skills.
Digging (Or Attempting To)
Dogs will often dig when they are excited or attempting to eliminate waste. If you live in a region that sees a lot of rain, your dog may start to dig a hole in your garden just to let the water penetrate and run off. It is usually not a good idea to let your dog roam free and dig wherever they want because this can cause damage to your home or community. In some cases, dogs may even dig up ancient artifacts or dangerous materials like asbestos or coal. If you discover your dog is constantly trying to dig holes in your yard, it probably means they are anxious or uncomfortable around new people or environments and could benefit from some desensitization activities. You should also keep an eye out for any holes your dog could be digging and fill them in immediately to prevent any flooding damage.
When your dog is sitting or standing still, they will occasionally rock back and forth or from side to side. This is a sign that your dog is either relaxed or feeling comfortable enough to be slightly restless. Alternatively, if your dog is walking toward you and begins to rock from side to side, this could mean they are feeling threatened or anxious around new people or environments. In these cases, it could be beneficial to lower their anxiety through socialization or interaction with other dogs or animals while also desensitizing them to new people or environments.
Dogs will often try to dig when they are interested in something. If you leave a bunch of old blankets on the beach and let your dog near it, they will begin to excavate it and bring pieces of cloth back to you. In some instances, this behavior can be very beneficial because it allows you to examine the items your dog has discovered. These items can then be categorized and examined more closely later on. It is important to keep in mind that while this behavior is completely normal and beneficial in certain instances, it can also be a sign that your dog is overly curious or has a desire to roam free and explore. If this behavior continues, it could mean that your dog has low self-esteem or is insecure around new people or environments. In these cases, it could be helpful to lower your dog’s cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) through activities like obedience training or social encounters with willing dogs or other animals.