NOMAD is a group of dog agility enthusiasts who have come together to play and build lasting relationships with their dogs and other “dog” people. We are a group of about 60 human members based in northern Vermont who live as far afield as Canada, Northern New York State, New Hampshire and Connecticut. NOMAD stands for Northern Magic Agility Dogs, which is quite fitting, as we have no training facility to call home, and members are often on the road traveling to dog agility trials.
Almost all dogs of all sizes, shapes, and ages, in good health, can do agility at some level. Same for the handlers. It’s a great way to stimulate, exercise, and play with your dog, and the handlers get a good workout too! If you are interested in trying agility with your dog, you’ll need guidance right from the get-go. It’s extremely helpful to have basic obedience skills, including a solid sit, down, come, and stay. Your dog should be able to work off leash and show no aggression towards other dogs or people, even in a situation with a high excitement level, such as an agility ring. It helps to know what rewards (food treats, balls, toys) motivate your dog.
Your dog will not learn agility by watching other dogs. That’s why you need to learn how to teach your dog to do all the fun obstacles, while working together as a team. The best way to train yourself and your dog is to join a class. Learning to pay attention while working around other dogs and people is often as important as being introduced to the obstacles. There are various training techniques and schools of thought on how to teach agility, and all of them are based on rewarding success. As the dog and handler progress, they will soon be linking several obstacles in a row, and eventually string together an entire course.
If this sounds like something you want to do with your dog, take a look at the list of instructors on the Committees and Instructors page.