Let’s start with something simple. Benches are a great place to begin teaching your dog how to engage in some urban agility. Lure your dog using their preferred toy to treat to climb onto the bench. Ask them to offer you simple positions (sit and down) on the surface to build their awareness of how they fit and can balance on the bench. You can also have your dog walk along the bench and balance as they walk across it.
Parking meters provide a great chance to work skills like weaving or circling around an object. Using a lure, you can help you dog learn to maneuver around and through those narrow spaces, much like a formal agility weave. I also enjoy teaching my dogs to send out and circle around an object. Standing in front of the thing you are asking them to circle, lure them around one side and reward them once they are on their return back to you. As the dog gets more comfortable with this exercise, increase the distance and the size of the object – my favorite is sending a dog back and forth across a park to various trees!
“…my favorite is sending a dog back and forth across a park to various trees!”
Always remember to support your dog while they are learning new skills. Stay close to your dog to help provide any extra assistance they may need while learning to prevent accidents or injuries. Use high value rewards for encouragement. These types of activities are meant to be fun for your dog, so always use lots of enthusiasm, celebrate with your dog and enjoy your successes together!
My pups are good at the tree thing-we’ll have to practice the others. What urban agility moves do you do with your pup?