Dog Agility is a sport where the dog is directed through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. It can be a rewarding shared hobby for a handler and dog or you can compete more seriously at top-level international competitions – having fun either way!
Popular Dog Sport
The sport was created as a demonstration sport in England and first shown to an audience at Crufts dog show in 1978. The new, fast sport immediately took off and within a couple of years it was given official dog sport status in the UK. Nowadays, agility is one of the most popular dog sports around the world.
Dog Agility Training for All
Agility can be practised with all kinds of dogs. There are no specific requirements for handlers either. Age doesn’t matter and movement skills are no hindrance either. If you are physically limited, you can compensate by putting extra effort into distance handling. The more skilled your dog is, the easier it is for you.
Agility Obstacle Courses
The course typically consists of 16-20 obstacles which can include jumps, tunnels, weave poles and contact equipment, such as an A Frame. It is important to move at the level of your dog’s skills, through the levels from basic to advanced. You can also prepare your puppy for agility by safely teaching foundation agility skills, making it much easier to continue when the puppy grows up.
What are the Benefits of Dog Agility Training?
Dog Agility is good for You and Your Dog
Here are a number of agility training benefits for your dog and why you should try it:
- Fulfils your dog’s natural instincts
- Great exercise for your dog (although they do have to be healthy to participate in agility)
- Great exercise for you too!
- Strengthens the bond between you and your dog
Dog Agility Competitions
Agility competitions in the UK range from unaffiliated fun competitions to the highest-level competitions such as Crufts and Olympia. Dogs are classified according to their height and success in agility competitions. In the UK there are two major competition organisations: