Agility is a fast pace sport where the dog and human handler navigate a course of obstacles. The team successfully completing the course with the fewest mistakes and the fastest time wins!
Dog Agility was first introduced in the UK back in the 70’s and made it’s way to North America in the late 80’s. Agility is probably the most well known dog sport, as competitions are fun to watch and often televised at the National competition level.
For dog owners competing in Agility, many of them have been training from 1 to 3+ years before joining their first event (called Trial’s). There are many layers to this sport, both for the handler and the dog, which require a lot of training to master. But the bond between dog and owner is priceless.
Types of Training Classes:
Recreational Agility or “just for fun” classes – these courses are casual and intended to introduce the equipment while also having fun training and bonding with your dog. These classes can sometimes be found at your local ‘big box’ pet and boarding stores. These can be good classes to get a high level understanding of the sport and determine if it is something that you and your dog enjoy – and want to pursue at a competitive level.
Professional Training – If you are interested in attending trials in the future you may want to search for a trainer that has or does compete. Finding options near you and a training that matches your learning style may take some digging. Of note, the various Agility organizations use different types of obstacles (e.g. you will see barrel or an arch in NADAC trials), so look for a trainer that matches the type of Trials you are interested in.
Experience Needed for Trials/Events:
Physical requirements of dog:
Physical requirements of human:
Agility is a fast and exciting sport!
Finding the right Trainer that aligns to your goals is important (e.g. Do you want to compete? Or are you looking for a casual activity to grow your dog/owner bond?)
Puppies can take classes and learn foundation work, but to compete dogs must be 15 months or older.
Dogs should be crate trained, as they will be crated when they wait their turn for the field