The Canine Curriculum

Dog sports and training build self confidence, social skills in young people.

By | Posted: March 9, 2011, 3 a.m. EST

“I honestly have no idea where I’d be right now if I didn’t do agility. Agility changed my life,” says 18-year-old Emily K. of Illinois, who was painfully shy when she began agility at age 12 but asserts, “Agility changed my life.” Dog training helps youths appreciate teamwork, goal setting, and respect for another being, and teaches them how to be a loving leader. It also builds confidence.

“I’ve always been shy. I would go to a trial and sit with Homer and watch people run. I didn’t speak unless I was spoken to,” Emily says. Success with Homer, her Border Collie, increased her confidence, but she credits her current instructors for skyrocketing her confidence in agility and herself. “I have improved more than I could imagine and have never been happier meeting new people.” 
  
Smart dog owners realize that training
benefits dogs and people alike as we discover more about ourselves. For young trainers it can provide an activity away from school pressures to be among like-minded peers who simply want to see them have fun with their dogs. Learn more about how juniors can enjoy various dog sports at the AKC site.

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