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Too Cool for School: Dog Agility Lessons

Beyond brightening your day with his canine companionship, your pup is likely your kids’ best playmate. Why not let your children learn valuable life lessons that involve the family pet? Consider adding dog agility lessons to your elementary- and middle-school aged kids’ extracurricular activities.

“Agility lessons teach children so many valuable lessons, like patience and healthy competition,” explains Bonnie Norris, 20-year veteran agility trainer and owner of Paws for Applause (PFA) Agility School in Wylie. “The kids have to learn how to be teachers, which can be challenging but very rewarding.”

PFA offers kids classes, so long as the child weighs more than the dog. The youth-oriented agility program consists of six one-hour classes ($85) in which kids learn handling skills and help teach the dog tricks. “Young attendees learn how to be persistent — their dog will not learn the tricks immediately, so the classes emphasize patience and consistency,” says Norris. “Lessons are a great way for kids to be active and grow in their communication skills.”