The following are all of the essential items you should bring with you to any agility fun match or trial. Rain or shine, indoors or outdoors, I always bring the things on this list!
A travel chair. This importance of this item cannot be stressed enough. If you don’t have one and live in an urban environment, try checking out alleyways. I have found many perfectly good travel chairs left out for free. If you want a really comfortable one, check these out.
A crate for your dog. In the beginning (yes the beginning — agility is addictive!) you can bring your dog’s regular plastic or metal crate. But as you get more into it, a light-weight fold-up crate is an agility essential. My biggest tip for finding the right foldable crate? Find one that has built-in coverage for all of its windows. Your dog needs the crate to be relaxing, and nothing is less relaxing than open windows when dog wants to take a break from all of the commotion.
A blanket. No matter the weather, a blanket always comes in handy. Perhaps you forgot something cushy to put on the bottom of your dog’s crate, maybe it is cold out and you want to bundle up in-between runs, maybe you end up needing to cover part of your dog’s crate. An extra blanket is an agility must.
High-value treats. Classic, fail-proof choice? Chopped up hot dogs in a ziplock bag. You may also choose to bring your dog’s favorite toy.
A coffee/tea mug filled with a hot caffeinated beverage (for you of course). Usually once you run out of your coffee/tea, there will usually be boiling water and/or coffee refills available.
Portable dog water dish. Even though there might be water dishes at the event, you never know how your dog will react to them. Sometimes when they are nervous, dogs won’t drink from unfamiliar bowls, or bowls that smell like other dogs.
Water! Bring extra water, for you and your dog. This is so important.
Don’t forget to charge your electronics the night before (cellphone, camera, iPad).
Handwipes. Many agility facilities, especially barns and outdoor arenas, use porta-potties. On top of that, your poor hands will be smothered in stinky treats and dog slobber all day long… So yes. Hand wipes are a great thing to have on hand.
A cooler. If you are crunched for space, grab a small Styrofoam cooler at your local dollar store. I love our cheap-o dollar store cooler. It is so light and small, and it perfectly fits our beverages, Miles’ treats, and my lunch.
The appropriate collar & leash. At fun matches, you are allowed to use your dog’s normal flat collar and lead. At trials, a sliplead that allows you to easily get your dog out and ready-to-run naked is essential. I like “humane slipleads” which have a safety feature to prevent them from tightening on the dog’s neck.
And finally, don’t forget to print off directions and itinerary.
Emma Kesler, CDBC, CPDT-KA is an award winning certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Dog Trainer who has worked exclusively virtually with clients from across the world for the past decade. Emma shares her life with her Welsh Terrier copilot Miles.
This is for all of the wild dogs out there, for the people who love them, and for those who want get to know them. You've come to the right place. 🐶
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