The Sport

The sport of dog agility was born in England in the late 1970's as entertainment at the Crufts dog show. It was introduced to the US in 1985 and has grown by leaps and bounds ever since!

Agility is a sport open to any dog - purebred or mixed. Working as a team, the dog and handler race against the clock to complete an obstacle course that includes jumps, tunnels, A-Frame, teeter-totters and more.

Dogs starting in agility should have a basic understanding of obedience commands including sit, stay, come, down and others. They should also be evaluated by your vet to ensure they are in the physical condition necessary for the rigors of the sport.

The Rules

There are several organizations that sanction agility competition in the US - United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) and Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA).  Dogs that are at least one year of age (or 18 months depending on the organization) are eligible to compete in agility.  Each organization sets its own rules, but there are similarities.  The height each dog must jump is determined by the height of the dog at the shoulder.  The number of obstacles and the difficulty of the course depends on the experience of the dog. While treats and toys may be used for motivation during training, they may not be used in the competition ring.