The most fulfilling way to have fun with your dog is to have a shared activity to do together. Having a dog that competes in agility competitions is one of the most fun and rewarding activities for both you and your dog. You meet a whole community of dog lovers as well as keep your dog fit and healthy whilst having fun together. It’s an incredibly fun and rewarding journey to take with your dog, from the initial stages of simple training games as a pup to winning ribbons and prizes.

Many people who enter the world of dog agility or even other competitions such as obedience trials become quickly addicted, and for good reason. According to the website, the leading cause of behavioural problems with dogs is boredom. People who start agility training with their difficult dogs quickly realise that many of their dogs’ behavioural issues become resolved. This is because you are not only spending time improving your own relationship with your dog, but also stimulating their brain and providing the necessary regular exercise that dogs need.

But, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already addicted and looking for great ways to improve your training and performance in trials or find tips to give your dog that extra advantage in a competition. At Siccaro, our products are designed with performance, ergonomics and flexibility of use in mind. This is why many agility owners swear by our products not only for comfort but also for ease of use as well as the enduring quality.

What to Bring to Your First Agility Trial

Apart from bringing the obvious things such as your dog in his crate, an easily removed lead for walks and all the necessary paperwork such as directions, the premium (instructions and info about the trial) and the confirmation of your attendance. Check if you will be outside, this will determine whether much sun protection for you and your dog will be necessary. It can be a long day with lots of waiting involved, so being prepared is really important if you want to enjoy it. Besides the obvious, there are a few more important things that could really help on the day such as:

  • Siccaro icon Water from home (so it doesn’t taste unfamiliar) as well as plenty of treats, some food and a good supply of food and drinks for your self.

  • Siccaro icon Any of your dog’s medication as well as toys.

  • Siccaro icon Sun protection for you including a hat, sunscreen and other protective clothes.

  • Siccaro icon An optional sun/rain cover such as a tent or canopy if you have one.

  • Siccaro icon An umbrella for you and a small portable fan if it’s hot.

  • Siccaro icon A cover for your dog’s crate to provide shade such as an old sheet or something plastic if it’s rainy.

  • Siccaro icon For you: your camera or video camera, a chair, book (or other entertainment), hand sanitiser and cash or cards to buy anything there on the day. Appropriate clothes for the weather.

  • Siccaro icon Bags to clean up after your dog’s mess.

Some optional and beneficial extras:

  • Siccaro icon Bringing a pen, clip board and some extra paper to copy down and figure out the best strategy for the course is a great idea.

  • Siccaro icon First aid kit for you and your dog.

  • Siccaro icon A ground cover for the crate, if you would like one.

Many agility owners also swear by the benefits of good quality crate mat such as the Siccaro FlexDog Mat. The Siccaro mat is made with well-ventilated foam and antibacterial textiles so that your dog won’t get overheated, but it will also feel comfortable and dry. This special mat draws moisture away from the dog, which is great if they are sweaty from their run and the antibacterial properties mean that it won’t collect that wet dog smell in the long run.

Lastly, it’s great to keep track of how you go over the months and years by keeping track of your results and performance. If you have a good run, or have things to note, it’s always great to keep a notebook to store this information over time so that you can note your progression and remember things to work on together.

pup standing next to a competition prize

How Can I Cool Down My Dog Between Trials?

Many trials are held outside, especially when the weather is good however, in blazing sunshine your dog can easily get overheated. Be sure to learn the signs of overheating such as heavy and noisy panting, disorientation, collapsing, vomiting or diarrhoea amongst others. Watch out especially if your dog’s coat is black or a dark colour as they will absorb the sun’s heat more intensely. A small spray bottle can do wonders but the best tool is using a dampened Siccaro WetDog jacket as has been used before to the success of the Danish team at the IWT retriever competition.

International Working Tests (IWT) is where retriever gun dogs (hunting dogs) are tested for their memory, skill and efficiency with retrieving dummy hunting game. At Siccaro we were incredibly proud to see our customers winning in their agility and other competitions. Last year we were so proud to see the Danish team win at the IWT (International Working Test) in the Czech Republic where temperatures were well above 30 degrees and dogs struggled in the heat.

Luckily, the Danish team used their Siccaro WetDog jackets and soaked them in cold water between tests. They wrung out the excess water, put the WetDog jackets on the dogs and let them be naturally cooled off between runs which gave them the advantage over their competition because they were able to strategically beat the heat and cool down whilst on the sidelines. Whilst the WetDog wasn’t originally invented for this purpose, it has durable and moisture-absorbing properties that make it the perfect help when it’s hot on the day of a competition or trial.


Interested in Siccaro for your dog?

dog wearing Siccaro WetDog drying robe in grey colour


If you're interested in investing in the best quality equipment for your dog then look no further than the Siccaro wetdog range.

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Wondering how you and your dog can benefit from the Siccaro product range? Then please watch this video.


How Can I help My Agility Dog Stay Warm in Cold Conditions?

Is it important to keep my dog warm during agility competitions? For many years after horses have competed in major sporting races they are made to wear warming jackets or blankets to keep muscles warm. Following a race or heavy exercise, it is important to keep warm after put our muscles and ligaments through a huge deal of stress and endurance. By keeping our muscles warm and our bodies insulated from the cold weather, we ensure that we don’t get sick and avoid getting sore, cramped or tight ligaments afterwards. The same is now being recognised for dogs.

If you are competing in agility or any other dog sports in a cold climate outdoors then your dog will need some extra protection before and after a run. Of course it will be prohibited to run in a coat, but ensuring they are warm enough before hand and afterwards will make sure they stay healthy and their muscles won’t tense up in the cold. By putting on a Siccaro WetDog robe to dry any moisture and keep her warm, when it’s cooler you are taking the best care of your dog’s athletic body and ligaments.

Agility dogs need regular and consistent training even when the weather is cold, rainy or snowy it’s no excuse for staying indoors. Who knows, you may have to face cold and rainy conditions outside on competition days and if your dog isn’t used to a little rain and mud, then this could be your disadvantage on the day. If you have a great, ergonomic jacket such as the Siccaro WetDog Hunter, your dog will stay both warm and dry whilst she runs, jumps and trains with you.

Travelling to Compete with your Dog?

Are you a serious agility dog owner who flies internationally or travels long distances to compete with your dog? You will be all too familiar with the issues associated with transporting your dog to an environment and a climate that they may not be familiar with. It’s a massive logistical operation to bring all the necessary grooming and training equipment needed to compete away from home, let alone figuring out how to minimise the stresses that transit can bring for your dog.

Ultimately, you want them to compete in best form, but sometimes a long flight or car trip can have them off kilter with tummy troubles associated with travel sickness or just generally being off balance. Dogs on aeroplanes have to stay in cargo crates with limited movement and are sometimes in the direct line of air conditioning units or perhaps they are in colder areas of the airplane. It is important for them to have enough protection from turbulence as well as the cold. Many agility dog owners with shorter haired breeds such as German Shorthaired Pointers or Italian Greyhounds need to put an extra jacket on whilst in transit. A great dual purpose product that many agility dog owners use is the Siccaro WetDog drying robe which is both comfortable to travel in and can be used for warmth at the actual event or to cool down as previously explained.

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