Dog Agility Resource Page

One of the most popular sporting activities among dogs is competing in dog agility competitions. Dog agility is a competitive sport for canines where a trainer guides the dog through a set course full of a variety of obstacles. The dog is judged for accuracy in completing all of the obstacles that are in the course as well as by time. During the event, the dog completes the course only through the use of simple voice and hand commands by the trainer.

Generally, the courses are set up to be challenging enough for dogs to complete only with the aid of human trainers. The agility course is completed by the dog with the trainer running along with the dog to give their commands. The dog must complete the course without the aid of the trainer using food as a reward. While the trainer needs to run the course with the dog, the trainer can position themselves in spots where the dog needs to navigate the course.

Dog agility courses are generally set up in a limited area where the dog will have to make many turns. The courses vary from competition to competition, but they usually consist of obstacles such as inclines to run up and down, balance boards, slalom poles to navigate, tunnels and jumps. In addition, judges can add elements where the dogs must follow commands during the course.

While speed is a major factor in determining the winner of dog agility competitions, it is also important to be accurate. Any dog that fails to negotiate a required obstacle or element is given a time penalty. Once any penalties are subtracted from the running time, the difference will determine the winner.

Dog agility competitors can begin training at a very early age, and with regular training can be ready for competition at any age, with young and old dogs equally being competitive. Dog agility competitions are held in various classifications, with size being the major determining factor in deciding what class to compete in. Also, the size of the dog will determine the makeup of the course. If smaller dogs are competing, the size of the jumps and climbs will be adjusted to meet their abilities. Conversely, if larger dogs are participating, the heights need to be more challenging.

Dog agility competitions are held throughout the world on a regular basis. These competitions are under the control of organizations such as the NADAC, TDAA, USDAA and the Kennel Club. Dog agility competitions are very challenging for both dog and trainer, with the communication built from hours of training being an important factor for success.

To learn more about the challenging world of dog agility competitions, we have put together a list of resources:

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