Management & Training

All You Need to Know About Golden Retrievers and Dog Agility Training

Golden Retrievers and Dog Agility Training

Dog agility is actually a passionate sport in which the handling and training of dogs is put to the test.

The participants have to race against the clock and have to instruct their doggy friends to perform various challenging exercises. The goal of the sport is to be the fastest one on the course.

Activities such as hurdle jumping, tunnel running, and pole weaving are included.

In this blog post, we will share all that you need to know about dog agility training and how well Golden Retrievers do in this sport.

Keep reading to know more…

Dog Breeds and Agility: A Quick Peek

Statistics suggest that medium build working dog breeds have a better chance at winning in agility as compared to other dog breeds.

Some dog breeds, such as the Golden Retriever, are more naturally suited to the sport however, a little more than 150 breeds have shown their surprising ability to perform well. So, breed isn’t necessarily the only criteria for winning.

Except for the American Kennel Club, all other agility clubs also accept mixed breed or designer dogs.


When looking from a personality perspective, dogs that are full of energy, are physically active, and have a desire to please their owners are usually the most successful dogs in agility competitions. Headstrong pups that like to get into trouble every time your back is turned are also excellent candidates.

These are a few reasons why Golden Retrievers are one of the best suited dog breeds for agility.

The Basics of Dog Agility

The basic premise of dog agility is to direct your dog through a pre-set obstacle course within a certain time limit.

Usually, the courses have between 14-20 obstacles. These include weave pools, seesaws, tunnels, tire jumps, and pause tables where the dog must stop for a set amount of time.

At a given trial, your dog is to race around the unique courses designed for that day.

But, your dog needs to do all of that based solely on the body language and cues you use to direct him on course.

From the smallest dog breed to the largest—all dogs can participate in this sport.

Is Agility the Right Sport for Your Golden Retriever?

Generally, Golden Retrievers are known to be good at agility sports. However, as we discussed in the above sections, it’s the personality of the dog that matters as well.

You need to assess your dog’s temperament to ensure that he’s the right fit for agility. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your dog energetic?
  • Does your dog enjoy running?
  • Is your dog good at responding to instruction?
  • Does your furry friend along well with other dogs?

If the answer to all of the above-mentioned questions is a yes, then, your dog is an excellent fit for agility training.

Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that doesn’t just involve your dog. Even you, the trainer, are critical to the process. It is through training and the development of good communication that you and your furry friend can become part of the sport.

Quick Note: Agility Classes

Since you are critical to the sport of agility, it is important to note that just like any other sport, agility, too requires some level of introduction. You should join a beginner course to introduce yourself and your dog to obstacles and the course.

An introductory class helps you provide the basics of how to compete should you decide to go that route.

It’s a fun way to bond with your dog!

Golden Retrievers in Dog Agility Sport

Four puppies that were bred from a Wavy Coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel are known to the the ancestors of the modern Golden Retrievers.

In this day and age, Goldies are quite popular as family pets and are known to be good working dogs. Golden Retrievers are popular choices for guide dog work, explosives detection, tracking, and obedience.

So, agility comes naturally to the Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers are a large dog breed that are known to be active and powerful dogs. These dogs can grow up to 20 to 24 inches in height and weigh between 60 to 80lb. These dogs have a biddable and confident temperament.

When it comes to agility training, there are two types of Golden Retrievers:

  • Ones that are quite active and make excellent agility dogs
  • Ones that seem to lag behind all the time

Golden Retrievers are intelligent dogs. However, not all Goldies are the same and some just don’t have a personality that’s fit for agility training.

Summing Up

Dog agility is actually a passionate sport in which the handling and training of dogs is put to the test. Agility requires there to be a balance and connection between the dog and his trainer because the dog needs to be able to heed his trainer’s command by decoding his body language.

Golden Retrievers are energetic and intelligent dogs.

When you look at their characteristics alone, you’d think that they are more than a perfect match for this sport. However, it is important to note that not all Goldies are the same.

While one dog may love it and be a natural, the other may just be bad.

Have questions? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!