Agility is a canine obstacle race, involving jumps, ramps, tunnels, and the slalom-style weave poles. The fast, exciting pace of Agility makes it a natural game for most dogs. Jumps are adjusted according to a dog’s height so that most sizes and breeds can take part.
An Agility course consists of eighteen to twenty five obstacles and no two courses are ever the same. The dog, guided by his handler, negotiates the course by completing each obstacle in the correct order. There are four levels of competition, and with each level the courses become more challenging and complex. Success requires a careful balance of accuracy and speed. Mistakes such as knocked jumps and refusals result in penalty faults. Other mistakes, such as doing the wrong obstacle, result in disqualification. As well as the competitive aspect, there are many opportunities to qualify for Agility awards throughout the levels.
To protect growing youngsters, dogs are limited in what they can do until they are eighteen months old, and our training classes reflect that. Fitness and soundness are essential for all Agility dogs – for handlers, this is not so important, but a sense of humour is a must!