What Is Agility?
Agility is a dog sport that was first developed in 1978 for the half time show at an equestrian show jumping event. The Agility Association of Canada (AAC) was founded in 1988, bringing the sport to Canada.
In a standard course, a dog and their handler negotiate a course consisting of jumps, tunnels, a pause table, weave poles, an A-frame, a dog walk, and a teeter. Jumpers (Speedstakes in UKI) is a course that consists only of jumps and tunnels. Steeplechase consists of the A-Frame, weaves, jumps and tunnels and tests speed and control. All of these courses are timed and judged on accuracy and speed. There are also two games in which the dog and handler team seek to accumulate as many points as possible, called Gamblers and Snooker.
Who Can Participate?
The Agility Association of Canada (AAC), UK Agility International (UKI) and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) allow all dogs, regardless of pedigree, size, or age to take part in Agility. Dogs must be individually registered with each organization to enter each of their trials. (Dogs who are not CKC registered may apply for a Performance Event Number (for purebred dogs) or a Canine Companion Number (for mixed breed dogs) to compete in CKC events, as these events are no longer restricted to purebred dogs!)
NADA, Inc. runs classes for dogs aged 6-months and older. AAC and CKC trials (competitions) are restricted to dogs 18-months of and older. UKI trials are restricted to dogs 15-months and older for the Speedstakes class, and 18-months and older for all other classes, All three organizations require that dogs are physically sound and are not aggressive towards people or other dogs.
The height of the equipment and the course time are determined by the height, build and age of the dog. Dogs 7-years or older may compete in Veterans in AAC and CKC, with jumps at a lower height and a longer course time. Specials (AAC), Select (UKI), or Selected (CKC) is for dogs whose physical build necessitates a lower jump height for safety, or owners who choose to jump their dogs at a lower jump height for any reason. AAC does not differentiate titles based on Division (Specials or Veteran); however UKI and CKC do. There are Regional and National events for both AAC and UKI and all Divisions are eligible for these events.
Jenga completing a set of 12 weave poles. He must enter the weaves with the first pole on his left pole, and weave through each pole to the end!
Becky climbing over the A-frame. She must touch the yellow contact zone on her way down, for safety purposes.