Parents think that the age of 7 is a great time to start training dog agility

January 8, 2020 - Hilma

Happy new year! Let´s make 2020 a great year of Junior Agility!

Agility has been evolving fast in last decade and we are seeing a great development in junior work too. We expect to see some fabulous junior agility this year in Finland when the JOAWC2020 takes place in  Hakunila Sports Park in Vantaa on 9.–12.7.2020. And for sure, you will meet our team there too!

But before rushing into the 2020, let´s take a look back. In 2018 we made a short market survey before we launched the Funna method. The survey reached 60 mostly European agility parents. There were some answers also from US and Canada. 76,7% of the answers came from parents whom child or childs were already training in dog agility.

What did we learn?

We had some idea of the state of Junior Agility in Europe and here in Finland. Se saw some awareness and risen interest. Of course, we had been there creating it with the media coverage the original Agiliikkari concept got. 

We were a bit surprised that 75% of the answers had some agility training available for kids on their local dog club. That was more than we expected. What do you think? 86,7% could also name other provides for junior agility events and training. 15,3% of these were private trainers.

“I think it is important to keep in mind that it is the children’s perspective that is most important. Let the children experience the joy of agility without the pressure that competitions often contain and adapt courses according to children’s ability. However, it is important to keep in mind that the responsibility for the dog still rests with the parent, not all dogs should be used in junior agility.”

Said a parent in our Junior Agility survey on 2018.

Parents are, like in other kid sports, rather interested on participating the child’s hobby. Not just with money, but with warming up the dog, taking part on fundraising and 36% of the parents were ready to take part on the training and exercises.  And hey, that’s great! Do get involved in the exercises and build to yourself an inspiring hobby relationship with your child.  

“I wish there were more childrens play agility and more prepared instructors to work with childrens.” 

Parent on the Junior Agility survey 2018

Peoples opinions on the age when it’s suitable for a child to start training  in agility varies from 4 to 13, but the average we got from our survey was the age of 7. From our opinion, this do vary from child to child. Our method is suitable for children up from the age of 5. But the younger the child, the more specific are his needs from the coach and training concept. 

Interested on working with children in dog agility?

Check out our coach training and book your free interview!

The answers agreed with us by 100% on question “Agility is a great hobby for a child.” Parents also wished for more special groups for agility juniors and trained coached for the groups. 46% felt that their country has a high quality training available for children and juniors. 67% would want the coach to be qualified to train children in sports. 

“There are not enough trainings for juniors activities. We don’t pay enough attention to the juniors.”

Parent on Junior Agility survey 2018

How has the situation and junior agility evolved? Take part on the survey and let’s see! 

Agree or don’t, let’s talk about our findings in social media. Join the Facebook group “Funna Fun – kids and dogs in agility” or use #funnarevolution. Conversations, shares and tags are most welcome. 

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