5 Signs Your Dog Isn’t Enjoying Agility

5 Signs Your Dog Isnt Enjoying Agility
Agility can be a lot of fun for you and your dog, but sometimes, our furry friends might not have as much fun as we think. Here are five signs that your dog might not be enjoying agility training.

1. Sniffing

Dogs sniff for many reasons. While we often think it’s because they’re distracted, it can actually be a sign of displacement behaviour. If your dog starts sniffing and seems to ignore you during training, they might be frustrated. This often happens when they don’t understand what’s being asked of them.
To help, break down the training into smaller steps. This makes it easier for your dog to understand and succeed. Take your time, and don’t rush the process. Slow learning often leads to better retention.

2. Not Taking Food

If your dog normally loves food but stops taking treats during training, they might be too excited, stressed, or frustrated. These emotions can push a dog into fight or flight mode, where eating is the last thing on their mind.
Help your dog by reducing the energy around them. Walk them away from the training area and let them sniff, which can calm their nervous system. Give them breaks between training sessions to decompress. Keep each training turn short with clear, achievable goals.

3. Sitting Down

A dog that sits down or refuses to move might be in physical discomfort. Pay attention to how often this happens. If it’s a rare occurrence, it might not be a big deal. But if it happens frequently, a vet check is a good idea.
In the meantime, make the obstacles more manageable. For example, lower the jumps to reduce physical strain.

4. Freezing

Freezing can be a sign that your dog is stressed or scared. Check the environment for possible stressors, like loud noises or the behaviour of other dogs and people. Once you identify the cause, work on desensitising your dog to it.
For example, if loud noises are the issue, you can play games that help change your dog’s response to these sounds.

5. Refusal to Use Equipment

Everything a dog does should be a choice. If your dog refuses to use a piece of equipment, understand that forcing them can be dangerous. Identify what it is about the equipment they dislike.
For example, the seesaw moves and makes noise, which can be scary. Break down the obstacle into smaller challenges. Help your dog get used to the noise with games and gradually introduce the movement in a controlled way. An adjustable seesaw can help with this.
If you’re noticing any of these signs and need more guidance, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m here to help ensure both you and your dog enjoy agility training to the fullest!