So, What do I need? . . .

Well, the easy thing is to start with your dog. For competition you will need a flat collar that contains basic information required by Kennel Club rules and UK law ie, owner's name, address and postcode (and ideally a contact phone number). This must not be a dangly type id tag but must be flat with the collar (embroidered / printed are ideal).

For practice and recreation level you can train with a harness if you wish but must make sure it cannot be snagged on any of the equipment. I use the Hurrta Life Saver harness as it provides good support and is also easy to unclip if you wish to use it when queuing at competitions. That's it really for your dog, unless you want to invest in such things as a waterproof jacket, warm jacket or even a cooling coat for the summer. Always ensure you have plenty of fresh water with you too.

Now the fun begins when it comes to sorting out your attire. You actually don't require any special clothing but from experience I would strongly suggest a good quality pair of sport trainers designed for trail use. One very important thing to remember is to avoid loose flapping clothing as this can confuse and even startle your dog, particularly in the early training days.

In the winter, waterproof breathable trousers are a godsend, as is a quality waterproof running jacket and also adhering to the proven layering technique. In the summer, shorts and t-shirt are fine, with a baseball cap and sun tan lotion if required to prevent burning.

Other "goodies" can include a "Pringles" style tube lid to use for "touch" exercises and a good quality, easy access but secure pouch bag to use for carrying doggy treats (not to be used in competition).

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