agility is a fast moving and exciting performance sport where dogs are
directed by their handlers through a challenging obstacle course. Dogs must
negotiate various obstacles, including the A-frame, dog-walk, weave poles,
seesaw, pause table, collapsed tunnel, and pipe tunnel. The course also
includes several different types of jumps and hurdles. , such as broad,
tire, triple and double jumps. In agility competitions, judges design
different runs for each competition. Scores are based on faults and course
City we teach competition agility, but we donít expect every student to
compete. While many of our students are competing at the top levels of the
sport and are nationally ranked, many also come out once a week just to
have fun with their dogs and get a little exercise.
Agility Dogs Any dog can participate in agility training as long as
they are healthy and sound. There are no age or size limitations. We have
dogs ranging in age from 6 months to 13 years, and from Great Danes to
Chihuahuas. Many veterinarians, obedience trainers and dog behaviorists
recommend agility training to help solve problems ranging from shyness to
fear aggression because the training helps socialize and build a dogís
self-confidence, teaches focus, and dramatically increases the bond with
its handler. Many rescue dogs come to Jump City with histories of abuse,
abandonment and neglect. After a couple of months of agility, we have seen
these dogs turned into confident, happy dogs, with owners who are amazed
and delighted at their transformation.
photo by Terry Curtiss, www.tc-pro.com
History of the Sport
Englishman Peter Lewis is credited with developing this exciting sport that was modeled on equestrian
grand prix jumping. The sport was first seen in England in 1977, and the first competition took place a year
later at Crufts. The English Kennel Club awarded official status to the sport in 1980, and it quickly spread
to the United States in 1986.
response to the fast growing interest in agility, the
United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA)
was organized to serve as a referral network for individuals and groups
interest in participating. It also set guide lines and standardized
obstacles. The North American Dog Agility
Council (NADAC) was formed shortly thereafter, followed by the
American Kennel Club (AKC) program and the
United Kennel Club.
While each organization has slightly different rules
and equipment requirements, all offer Novice through Championship titling
opportunities and annual National Championship competitions. USDAA, NADAC
and UKC are open to mixed breeds and pure-breds alike, while AKC is only
open to AKC recognized breeds.
What Is A Show &
A Show & Go (sometimes called a Fun Match or Practice Match) is an opportunity
to practice running agility courses under the same conditions you find at actual
competitions. The courses are timed and judged and scores are recorded by
someone at ring side on a scribe sheet.
People participate in Show & Go's for various reasons. People already
competing come to get "tuned up" for upcoming agility trials. In regular
competitions, you are not allowed to train or use treats or toys in the ring. At
a Show & Go you can, so you can work on any specific problems you might be
having at trials - such as contact problems, downs on the table, etc.
A Show & Go is also a good place to get your paws wet if you haven't yet
started competing. You can get the feel of what morning check-in is like, course
walk throughs, and running a course with a judge in the ring. It's a good place
to find out what agility is like for you and your dog outside of your class
I highly recommend Show & Go's for just about every student (with the
exception of 1st and 2nd session students). But even if you don't participate,
you should come out to watch and get a feel for what competition is like and to
have a great time.
Help at Show & Go's is always appreciated and a good way for you to get a
closer look at the sport. So if you have some time to set bars knocked down in
runs, want to learn how to time or scribe a run at a trial, be a gate steward,
etc., just let us know. Keep in mind that whether you volunteer to work at a
Show & Go or at a "real" agility trial, you can usually earn free drinks, snacks
and lunch, and maybe even free entry fees.
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