Agility is a fast-paced, fun sport that you and your dog
can participate in together. You may choose to do agility just for the
fun of it or you may decide to compete with your dog in one or all of
several venues of agility competitions. Dogs and handlers compete for
titles, placements and bragging rights. Three major players that sanction
agility trials are AKC-American Kennel Club, NADAC-North
American Dog Agility Council and USDAA-United States Dog Agility
Association. Purebred and mixed breed dogs are welcome in both NADAC and
USDAA, while the AKC sanctioned trials are open only to purebred/AKC registered
Agility is a timed event where you and your dog travel
an obstacle course that includes jumps and tunnels, climbing obstacles
like the A-frame, Teeter-totter and Dog Walk, and a
set of upright poles that the dog must weave in and out of. Dogs are
judged on the accuracy of completing each obstacle and maintaining the
proper course flow. In scoring, the most accurate dog with the fastest
time wins the class. Each course is assessed a standard course time so
dogs that are accurate but slow, may be assessed time faults that would be
added to their score.
Can My Dog Do Agility?
There are several breeds of dogs that excel at the sport.
Border Collies, Shelties, Labs, Goldens, Aussies and Jack Russell Terriers
are a few of the breeds that dominate the sport. However, all dogs have
the potential to succeed with the following criteria:
- Your dog should be physically sound and at a good
working weight. Dogs with physical problems such as hip/elbow displasia,
shifting lameness or other physical ailments should not be doing agility.
Weight-wise, your dog should be a lean, mean jumpin' machine…….
extra layers of fat will inhibit your dogs performing ability and could put undue stress
on joints and tissue. Agility is a physically demanding sport for your
dog and they should be in good shape.
- Sound temperament and good basic obedience skills are a must for the agility dog.
Aggressive dogs are not permitted to train at Dallas Dog Sports.
On the other hand, dogs that are shy or timid around
strange people or dogs can benefit greatly from the agility training experience.
It boosts their self-confidence and exposes them to new and different
situations that they find out they CAN handle.