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What Is Dog Agility?

   Dog Agility is a fast growing sport run on what looks like an oversized playground for dogs.  An agility course combines jumps inspired by horse shows with obstacles derived from traditional working dog training.  And right out of the schoolyard, there's even a teeter-totter!

     Each dog and handler team is timed as they run the agility course in a set pattern (every time the team runs, the course is different), the handler guiding and the dog jumping and negotiating the obstacles and both having a great time!

     Dog Agility started in England in 1978, and competition today has expanded to the international level.  You don't need to compete in order to benefit from training your dog in agility.  However, Agility training is an excellent method of giving active dogs the exercise they need.  It also enhances your relationship with your dog by improving attention, off leash control and confidence, and challenging their minds.


The most common obstacle in agility, the dog must jump between the two standards without knocking the bar to avoid incurring a fault.  Jumps can either be winged (shown) or non-winged.  The height of the top bar is set according to jump height, which is determined by the dog's shoulder height.

Tunnels are usually the first obstacle dogs learn in agility training.  They can be any length, and either curved or straight.  The dog simply has to enter at one end and exit at the other.

The chute is a tunnel with a piece of cloth over the exit that extends 8-12 feet out, and that the dog must push through to come out the other side.  When first teaching the tunnel, the chute cloth is usually held up so the dog can see out the other end, then gradually it is dropped until the dog goes through, pushing the cloth up as he goes.

The tire is just that, a tire suspended in midair.  The dog must jump through the tire, not going underneath or around it; this requires precise jumping on the dog's part.

This page is under construction -- check back soon for the rest of the obstacles!