Stretching, touching and manipulation
Agility training and coursework is physically challenging and agility dogs are true athletes subject to strain, accute and chronic injury and will need to be tolerant of (and enjoy) supportive care (chiropractic, massage, accupuncture, fascia work etc..)
Many dogs are sensitive to and can misunderstand the invasiveness associated with inspection, joint manipulation, stretching, range of motion work and being restrained or carried.
Teach your dog to allow and as much as possible enjoy all of these activities:
-Touch feet, legs, belly, tail and ears.
-Flex and stretch legs and all joints gently,
-Inspect mouth and teeth
-Massage major muscle groups
Teach your dog to tolerate restraint
-on his side
-being carried in your arms and fireman carry (if safe for you and your dog)
-take your dog to a petshop and try on various harnesses - practice adjusting and futzing with the straps
-dress your dog in t-shirts and costumes (sounds silly, but is a very good de-sensitization tool and can also help in first aide emergencies.
-note: do not attempt to lift your dog in a harness, sling or makeshift sling without experience and help.