What is Agility?
What is Agility?
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
Agility is similar to an obstacle course run against time. The handler runs with the dog, which is off lead, directing the dog through the course. This must be done without touching the dog or the obstacles.
In agility, a dog demonstrates its agile nature
and versatility by following cues from the handler. 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 handler may be on either side of the dog and located at any but a few restricted places on the course while directing the dog from obstacle to obstacle. In some situations, the handler should be close to the dog exercising control to assure that the dog performs the more precise aspects of negotiating a given obstacle correctly. However, in other situations, the handler should be able to send the dog out alone, while the handler takes a shorter route to the next critical location on the course. There are few restrictions on the types of signals, verbal commands or praise given by the handler, as long as they are not of a harsh or derogatory nature. The performance should convey an image of fun and enthusiasm, and companionship between the dog and the handler.
from the UKC Agility website:
The AKC offers two 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.
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!
from the AKC Agility website: