Agility for Dogs

What is agility?

Dog agility is an exciting sport where the handler and dog negotiate a series of obstacles in a specific order that is determined by the judge.  Obstacles included in an agility course can include jumps, tunnels, see saws, weave poles, dog walks and A-frames. The aim is to complete the course as quickly and accurately as possible. Faults are given for knocked bars, incorrectly completed obstacles or going over the time limit. A clear or qualifying round is a run where there have been no faults. If several dogs gain clear rounds, the winner is determined by the fastest time.

There are also agility games where the handler gets to determine which obstacles to do and there may be aspects of distance handling where the handler must stay a distance from their dog. In some events two dogs may enter and complete a course together – this is always lots of fun!

Why do agility?

Agility training is a great way to have fun with your dog. It is great exercise mentally and physically for both dog and handler. Training helps you bond with your small friend and may prevent behavioural problems from developing. Many people with hyperactive dogs say that agility training has helped challenge their dog and funnel their dog’s energy into something productive rather than destructive! Entering agility competitions is a fun way to test your small friend’s progress, although plenty of people don’t enter competitions and do it just for fun. Agility training is also a good way to meet other dog lovers and competitions can be an especially social experience.

Any dog can participate in agility provided they are healthy and don’t have any major medical issues or injury.  Should your small friend have issues it is still possible to participate in agility training provided they do modified versions of the obstacle making it easier for them. Working breeds in particular seem to excel at agility; however there are a wide variety of breeds and crossbreeds that also compete very successfully.

Where can I do it?

Canberra has 3 dog training clubs which offer agility classes:

  • Belconnen Dog Obedience Club (located in Mitchell)
  • ACT Companion Dog Club (located in Narrabundah)
  • Tuggeranong Dog Training Club (located in Greenway)

Mindy completing a broad jump

Mindy heading to next obstacle

Nero comes out of a tunnel

Ruby weaving

Spice on the dogwalk