Agility, the Ultimate Dog Sport
Dog agility is a fun and exciting sport in which dog and handler teams run through courses of obstacles. Agility emphasizes teamwork. The handler directs the dog through a course of obstacles using a strategy that he or she thinks is best suited for his or her dog; the dog performs the obstacles in the order and direction determined by the handler. Agility is enjoyed by people of all ages and by all kinds of dogs. Both mixed-breed as well as pure-breed dogs can participate. Regardless of breed, participating dogs need to be fit and healthy to meet the athletic challenges of agility.
Agility Competitive Teams
Agility is a competitive sport that tests a person’s skills in training and handling of dogs over a timed obstacle course. The aim is to find the balance between the control of the dog and the speed of the performance. Competitors race against the clock as they direct their dogs to jump hurdles, scale ramps, burst through tunnels, traverse a see-saw and weave through a line of poles in an obstacle course configuration designed to challenge a handler’s competitive and training skills. Every agility course is different. At a trial, the courses are designed by the judges and are not shown to competitors until the day of the event. Handlers are given a short “walk-through” period before each event to learn the course and plan their strategy. Teams may incur faults during their run for incorrect obstacle performance or by taking obstacles out of order or in the wrong direction. Time faults may also be incurred if the team takes longer than the standard course time to complete their run.
SKC Agility Trials are great fun whether you are a participant or just a spectator. With the handler in charge of strategy, and the dog given the athletic responsibilities, the team negotiates an obstacle course, performing each obstacle in the correct sequence. Emphasis is placed on accuracy and speed. Safe execution of each obstacle is paramount, with faults being assigned for knocked down poles, missed contacts (the start and end of the see-saw, A-frame and dogwalk), or taking an obstacle out of sequence. Scoring is based on faults. A dog that completes the obstacles correctly without faults and in the fastest time will win and earn a Qualifying Round. Dogs earn titles when they achieve a set number of qualifying rounds.