Agility is the fastest growing dog sport in the nation, and dogs are competing at local and national levels everywhere. Through agility classes, dog owners and their dog-athletes learn to master the jumps, tunnels, weave poles, tables and other obstacles that make up an agility course, and the owners get almost as good a workout as the dogs. Think you’ll be able to enter your dog and watch him go? Think again! Agility training is a team effort and because the owners make most of the mistakes, agility classes are not only for your dog, but for you too!
Agility courses are taught at several levels, usually beginning with Agility I. After successful completing the beginning levels, dogs and their owners move onto the next level, and usually require several courses before they’re ready to compete! But it doesn’t have to be all about competition. Agility training is good bonding between dog and owner; it reviews and reinforces obedience training, and is exercise that is good and fun!
How does it work? Dogs of all shapes and sizes and their owners are exposed step-by-step to each apparatus in the agility course. One-by-one, each apparatus is conquered and, eventually, dog and owner are ready to move on to competition, or just fun in the backyard! Sound easy? It’s easy to get started, but mastering the agility course is no easy matter. Agility dogs are judged not only on being able to clear hurdles and bound through tunnels in the fastest time, but also on their technique and how well they listen to their owner-teammate throughout the course. Mistakes cost points, and refusal by the dog to follow its owner’s lead can even lead to disqualification!
So now that you know something about the sport, what are you waiting for? Agility is on the rise in popularity so don’t miss your chance to get involved…but be careful, this is ones an addictive sport!
Compliments of Carole Peeler of C&C PALS.