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Welcome to Dog Agility Trial

For the beginner/novice dog agility handler.

Click those links or the main menu links above to get to the dog agility info.

Also, join the Dog Agility for Novices email list to get sporadic emails containing dog agility tips and tricks.

Just in case you’re so new to dog agility that you don’t even know what it is, here’s some info from Wikipedia…

Photo courtesy recursion_see_recursion via Flickr

Dog Agility

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dog agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles. Consequently the handler’s controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.

In its simplest form, an agility course consists of a set of standard obstacles laid out by a judge in a design of his or her own choosing in an area of a specified size. The surface may be of grass, dirt, or rubber. Depending on the type of competition, the obstacles may be marked with numbers indicating the order in which they must be completed.

Courses are complicated enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without human direction. In competition, the handler must assess the course, decide on handling strategies, and direct the dog through the course, with precision and speed equally important. Many strategies exist to compensate for the inherent difference in human and dog speeds and the strengths and weaknesses of the various dogs and handlers.

Agility field left side: A competition agility field showing (clockwise from lower left) a tunnel, the dogwalk, the judge standing in front of a winged jump, two additional winged jumps, dog executing the teeter-totter with his handler guiding, and the tire jump.
Agility field right side: The right side of the same agility field showing (clockwise from foreground) the weave poles, the pause table, the A-frame, two winged jumps, the collapsed tunnel (or chute), and a wingless jump. Numbered orange plastic cones next to obstacles indicate the order in which the dog must perform them.