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Most of the organizations have similar obstacles which include:

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AGILITY


Agility is Fast & fun – the fastest growing dog sport in the world!!  Scroll below for photos of Rikki v TeMar being introduced to agility class!

There are numerous organizations that sponsor Agility events. AKC, SV, and a whole alphabet soup of other groups all offer titles in this sport. The rules vary but there are many similarities. Basically, canine agility competition is based on horse show jumping events. Dog and handler have to maneuver through a course of obstacles and complete them within a time limit and without faults.

A-Frame:  This is a climb up and over a 6 ft tall scaling wall. The obstacle has “contact zones” at the bottom of each side which the dog must touch to qualify. Sounds simple, but making sure the dog starts at the bottom of the ramp and goes to the bottom of the down ramp can be tricky if the dog is going at speed.

Dog walk: a board (10-12” wide), elevated about 4 ft off the ground and about 16 feet long with ramps at either end. The dog must touch the contacts at either end to qualify.

Tunnels: flexible tunnels, 16-20 ft long and about 24” in diameter that the dogs have to go through. These tunnels are usually bent so the dog cannot see the exit as he enters. This is usually a favorite for the dogs.

Jumps: A variety of jumps of different heights and complexity. Like the verticals and oxers designed for horses, these jumps require the dog to adjust himself to the jump requirements. Some jumps mirror the horse jumps using a variety of materials to add interest and difficulty to the course.

Chute: The entrance of this obstacle is a barrel to which a long lightweight sleeve of nylon material is added. The light weight allows the dog to easily go through the chute after the dog has learned that there is a way out!

Teeter Totter: A long narrow (10”) board which requires the dog to walk to the center, wait for the teeter to “totter” and then walk off. Again, there are contacts and the dog must touch both ends to qualify. This is a control test in the middle of a speed course.

Weave poles: Imagine a slalom course. Posts are set in a line inches apart. The dog must enter on the correct side and weave through the entire stretch to qualify. Done right, it is a most amazing obstacle when done by a large, fast moving Shepherd!

Table: A low table the dog must jump onto and then hold a down for a specified time (5 seconds or so). Sounds simple, but again, these dogs are in a speed contest and are just as competitive as their owners. Lying down without owner contact and holding that position while knowing the next jump is just waiting for them, is quite a challenge at times!

Agility classes are springing up almost everywhere. When selecting one be sure you look for an instructor who uses safe and positive methods.


Here are links for various North American agility organizations: AKC   NADAC   USDAA   AAC (Canada)   UKC

Pictures of Rikki v TeMar being introduced to agility class.

Boy! That's a long way up!

You think only those border collies can do this fast?

Let's see, go thru this -No Problem!

This plank is narrow; but I'm nimble.


Both ways? No problem!

What do you mean getting dark? Go home?!