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Hoopers is a new separate discipline based on agility. It comes from the USA and you might have seen it in the Czech Republic only in the last couple of years. It’s time actively spent for dogs even though the obstacles are not very demanding. The advantage is that a handler’s physical disability doesn’t stand in the way of enjoying this activity with the dog.
It’s because the dog runs around and through the individual obstacles on its own, guided by visual and voice instructions of the handler. At the same time, the obstacles are completely safe and have minimum requirements for the musculoskeletal system of the dog. Therefore, it’s a sport suitable not only for dogs of all sizes and age groups but also for those with physical abilities who can’t jump anymore.
Training and the whole learning process makes use of non-coercive means. Clickers are used a lot. The objective is to teach the dog to understand and then also to respond to voice and visual instructions in a way it could go through the track on its own, i.e. independently on the movement of the handler. All obstacles are on the ground level. The dog has to either run through, around or along them.
Doing this sport, the dog moves a lot and the handler a little. So, if you are too slow for your dog when trying agility, you can try hoopers! It is also a great opportunity for example for dogs who have been excluded from agility races due to an injury, but which have not lost their active sparkle and miss obstacles. Last but not least, it can also be an option to tire indefatigable dogs without being totally exhausted yourself.
Does it seem interesting? There is at least one dog school in practically all regions of the Czech Republic that trains this sport, so it won’t be a problem for you to find one in your vicinity.
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