DOG AGILITY - A FUN SPORT
Why is the sport of agility one of the fastest growing sports in the world? The popularity of this sport is because it is just so much fun for both the dog and the handler. Most dogs love to run and jump and agility gives them the place to do just that.
The best part is that all breeds of dogs can successfully compete in agility. There are five jump heights so that the smallest and largest breeds of dogs can run a course.
WHAT IS AGILITY?
A dog and handler must complete an obstacle course full of jumps, tunnels, and obstacles that a dog must climb. It is a timed event. The fastest dog with a clean run wins the class. The handler must learn how to direct the dog along the course, without interfering, while maintaining the dog's speed. Each course is designed by a judge and is unique. Most dogs love agility and are naturally motivated to run a course. Positive motivation keeps the dogs eager to work and perform.
There are three levels of agility competition with two calsses at each level:
- NOVICE - Novice Standard and Novice Jumpers With Weaves
- OPEN - Open Standard and Open Jumpers With Weaves
- EXCELLENT - Excellent Standard and Excellent Jumpers With Weaves
The Standard classes include the table and obstacles, A-Frame, Dog Walk and See Saw as well as jumps, tunnels, the chute, and weave poles.
The Jumpers with Weaves classes include jumps, weave poles, and tunnels only.
Each level becomes more difficult and challenging. More obstacles are added at each level, the time becomes more critical at each level, and the turns become tighter at each level.
Titles are earned after receiving a qualilfying score three times in each class, novice, open, and excellent. Once a team has the excellent titles, AX and AXJ, they may go on to work toward the Master Agility (MX) and Master Agility Jumper (MXJ) titles. The highest title is the Masater Agility Champion or MACH. Receiving the MACH title requires dedication, training, and going to lots of shows. But it's well worth the effort!