Dog agility is a competition sport that involves a dog running a timed course of obstacles consisting of various jumps, ramps and tunnels (usually in numbered order) quickly but accurately. The handler directs the dog with voice, arm and body movements all involving close and/or distance work. The handler is not allowed to touch the dog or obstacles nor use food/toys (these, however, can be used as training tools) as incentives.
Trials (competitions) are usually held over one day with Agility events (contacts, weaves, tunnels and jumps) and Jumping events( tunnels and jumps). Games rings may be held as well.
Novice, Excellent, Masters levels are based on the dogs' abilities not the handlers'.
There are also Open events.
Agility is a handling skill that requires quick strategic thinking, accuracy and often (but not always) athleticism. It requires teamwork between dog and handler that is the result of extensive training.
The vast majority of dog breeds have no difficulty negotiating an agility course.
However, with some breeds, eg the giant breeds which are prone to joint problems, it may be inadvisable to have them jump. Also, they may find the tunnels, the size of which cannot be altered, difficult to negotiate.
Regardless of breed, it is best to consult your vet about your dog's suitability to being an agility dog.
Our club accepts dogs from 10 months of age into the Foundation class.
For dogs' wellbeing and physical maturation jumping is not permitted in club training until the age of 15 months.
Please note, for ANKC competitions, a dog must be at least 18 months of age to compete.
Probably not but we would need to assess you and your dog to place you in a class that best suits your abilities.
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