The agile rottweiler
When you talk about a Rottweiler, the first image you conjure up is of a strong, muscular animal often used as a guard dog. While Rottweilers are widely assumed to be fast, agility isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, the breed does quite well in agility competition because it is very active, energetic, and intelligent.
Agility as a sport or hobby is a wonderful way to spend time with your dog and teach him discipline and respect. While traditionally a sport for smaller herding dogs such as border collies or spaniels, rottweilers have entered the agility scene in recent years and have caused quite a stir. An extremely intelligent dog, Rottweilers are well suited to agility training. His strength and athleticism don’t hurt either!
The obstacles in agility trials are difficult but surmountable for a Rottweiler. Jumping over obstacles, running tunnels, crossing the dogwalk (a plank raised about four feet off the ground), balancing on the seesaw, and climbing and descending the A-frame are all essential parts of any agility course. It is not just strength or speed that goes into this competition, but thought and obedience. Your Rottweiler can really gain a lot from agility training and competition, including a stronger bond with you as the guide.
Rottweilers, as such an active breed, can often become restless if not properly exercised, even becoming destructive around household furniture or resorting to aggression. Agility trials are a fantastic way to combat restlessness and put your dog’s intelligence and stamina to good use.
Agility trials are a psychologically and physically demanding sport, which will help keep your Rottweiler happy. They are a breed that loves a challenge and can even become depressed or destructive without intense stimulation. Not all Rotties will take to agility training or competition, but it’s a great option to keep you and your dog fit and create a fun bonding experience for both of you. Once you develop a special bond with your Rottie, you’ll do just about anything to please him.
If you are interested in agility competition or training, contact your local kennel club or Rottweiler club to see if they offer training seminars or have any upcoming meetups. Even if your Rottie doesn’t play the sport, it never hurts to give it a try! All the training will benefit both parties and the exercise alone will leave you with a happy dog.