What is Agility?

 

Agility is a sport where a handler directs their dog through an obstacle course that is created by an agility judge. The race is preformed off leash and the dog is rated based on both time and accuracy. During a trail a handler must not use food or toys as incentives for the dog to preform the obstacles. In order to complete this without incentives a handler must control their dog with their voice, movement, and various body signals. To preform these tasks with the required speed and accuracy required to complete a trial exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler is a must!

A typical agility course consists of a set of standard obstacles laid out in a design chosen by the agility judge in a large (roughly 100ft by 100ft) area. The area in which the course is ran is made up of grass, dirt floors, or rubber mats, with numbers indicating the order in which the dog must complete the obstacles.

Courses are designed to be complicated enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without direction. Prior to the course being run by a handler, the handler must assess the course, decide on handling strategies, to direct the dog through the course, with precision and speed. Many strategies are personalized to compensate for the handler and dog speeds along with the strengths and weaknesses of each dog and handler.