Agility is a competitive dog sport in which dogs navigate an obstacle course consisting of various obstacles such as tunnels, weave poles, jumps, A-frame, seesaw, and other obstacles. The objective of the sport is for the dog to complete the course as quickly and accurately as possible, while following the commands and cues of the handler.
The handler directs the dog through the course by using verbal commands, body language, and hand signals. The dog must complete the obstacles in the correct order and without any faults. Faults include missed obstacles, knocked bars, or taking the wrong course.
Dogs of any breed or size can participate in agility, although some breeds are more commonly seen in the sport due to their natural athletic abilities and agility. Common breeds you may see in competitions include Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, and Papillon.
Agility is a great way for dogs and handlers to bond and build teamwork while providing exercise and mental stimulation for the dog. The sport is popular around the world and is recognized by various organizations that organize competitions at different levels of difficulty. Some of the most well-known agility organizations are:
The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI): The FCI is a global organization that offers several different types of dog sports, including agility. Winners from FCI are eligible to participate in the World Agility Championships.
The American Kennel Club (AKC): The AKC is a US-based organization that offers several different types of dog sports, including agility. To participate, your dog must be 15 months of age or older and registered with thee AKC.
The United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA): The USDAA is a US-based organization that offers several different types of agility competitions. Dogs must be at least 18 months of age, not in heat, and free from aggression.
The Agility Association of Canada (AAC): The AAC is a Canadian-based organization that offers agility competitions for dogs and handlers of all skill levels. Dogs must be 18 months of age, not in heat or advanced state of pregnancy and free from aggression to compete. Dogs must be registered with AAC.
The United Kingdom Agility International (UKI): The UKI is a UK-based organization that offers agility competitions for dogs and handlers of all skill levels. Dogs must be 15 months of age and registered with UKI to compete.