Agility is the ultimate game for you and your dog. It also one of the most
exciting canine sports for spectators. In agility, a dog demonstrates is agile
nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed
obstacle course. The course has jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and other
obstacles. Agility strengthens the bond between dogs and handlers, it is
extremely fun, and it provides vigorous exercise for both!
The AKC offers three types of agility classes. The first is the Standard Class
which includes obstacles such as the dog walk, the A-frame, and seesaw. The
second is Jumpers with Weaves. This class only has jumps, tunnels and weave
poles. Both classes offer increasing levels of difficulty to earn Novice, Open,
Excellent and Master titles. The third class is Fifteen
and Send Time (FAST) and has be offered since January 2007.
After completing both an Excellent Standard title and Excellent Jumpers title, a
dog and handler team can compete for the MACH (Master Agility Champion title) -
faster than the speed of sound!
Agility began in England in 1978. The AKC held its first agility trial in 1994.
Agility is now the fastest growing dog sport in the United States and is the
fastest growing event at the AKC!
AKC agility is available to every registerable breed, from Yorkshire Terriers to
Irish Wolfhounds as well as mixed breed dogs that are registered with AKC. The dogs
run the same course with adjustments in the expected time and jump height.
Information from the AKC website. For more information, please contact AKC.
What happens at a trial?
When the course has been set up, the handlers gather for a “judge’s briefing” where the judge summarizes how the class is judged.
Then the handlers may “walk the course.” They do this as a group, without their dogs, following the numbers to become familiar with how the course goes.
Most handlers try to walk the course as many times as they can in the time allotted, to plan their strategy. You may see handlers during a “course
walk” actually running the course with an imaginary dog, giving the commands as they would during their competing round. Other handlers gather in small
groups to discuss potential problem spots and how they plan to handle them.
The Competition Runs: The dogs run the course individually, off leash. The timer will tell the handler when he or she
may begin, starting the stopwatch as soon as the dog crosses the start line and stopping it when the dog crosses the finish. As each dog runs, the judge
indicates the faults. The faults are noted on paper by an official called a scribe. At the completion of the round, the dog’s time and score is used to
calculate the qualifying performances and top placements.