Agility

Agility Training



Agility
Function: noun
1. the quality or state of being agile [ran with increasing agility]
Synonyms active, alert, nimble, responsive, sprightly, swift

I've been doing agility since 1995 and my dogs love it! Agility began in England in 1978 fashioned after horse show jumping. It is the ultimate game for you and your dog. It is also one of the most exciting canine sports for spectators. In agility, a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course. Agility courses are created with obstacles the dog must perform correctly. The judge predetermines the direction and flow that each obstacle must be taken and the handler directs the dog, off leash, through this obstacle course. They may cheer, clap, and call the dog through each obstacle as it best serves them. There are jumps of various make, climbing obstacles, weave poles, tunnels, and a pause table. Each course is timed and the dog that finishes with the fewest course faults and the fastest time wins. This rule varies according to the sanctioning organization of the trial you are attending.

Basics of Agility

The obstacles used in agility have been designed with both safety and spectator appeal in mind. All jumps have easily displaceable bars so that the dog should not experience injury should he misjudge and take down a jump bar. All obstacles that the dog must physically scale have 'contact' zones painted on the equipment; the contact zones enforce safe training techniques since handlers know that dogs will be faulted unless one or more feet are in the contact zones when ascending/descending these contact obstacles. All contact equipment surfaces are roughened for good traction in both dry and wet weather.

The rules are fairly simple; handlers may give an unlimited number of commands or signals to their dogs, but may not touch either the equipment or the dog. Dogs are 'faulted' for actions such as taking down a jump bar, failing to put one or more feet in the safety or contact zone when ascending/descending contact equipment, taking obstacles out of sequence, and running past or stopping before the next obstacle to be performed. Time penalties are additionally assessed against dogs that exceed the SCT (standard course time).

In order to acquire an Agility title, a dog must earn 3 qualifying scores per class level under at least two different judges.

Classes, Titles, and Height divisions

  • Regular Titling Classes
    • Novice Agility & Novice Jumpers With Weaves Classes: The Novice Agility Class and the Novice Jumpers with Weaves Class are divided into Divisions A and B. Division A is for dogs that have never acquired any AKC Agility title. Additionally, a dog entered in Novice A must be handled by a person that has never put an AKC Agility title on any dog. Division B is for dogs that have acquired the Novice Agility title, or the Novice Jumpers With Weaves title, or for persons who have handled a dog to any AKC Agility title, and for dogs being handled by someone other than the Owner. A dog may continue to be shown in the Novice B Class until they have acquired a qualifying score towards their Open title. Whenever the Novice Class is offered, both Divisions A and B must be offered.
    • Open Agility Class: Open to dogs that have acquired the Novice Agility or Open Agility titles but which have not acquired a qualifying score towards their Agility Excellent title.
    • Open Jumpers With Weaves Class: Open to dogs that have acquired the Novice JWW (Jumpers with Weaves)or the Open JWW titles but have not acquired a qualifying score towards an Excellent JWW title.
    • Agility Excellent "A" Class: Open to dogs that have acquired the Open Agility title, and to dogs that have acquired the Agility Excellent title but that have not acquired a qualifying score towards their Master Agility Excellent title.
    • Excellent Jumpers With Weaves "A" Class: Open to dogs that have acquired the Open JWW title and to dogs that have acquired the Excellent JWW title but have not acquired a qualifying score towards their Master Excellent JWW title.
    • Master Agility Excellent "B" Class: Open only to dogs that have acquired the Agility Excellent title, and to dogs that have acquired the Master Agility Excellent title.
    • Master Excellent Jumpers With Weaves "B" Class: Open only to dogs that have acquired the Excellent JWW title and to dogs that have acquired the Master Excellent JWW title.

Agility Titles

Credit toward AKC Agility titles is earned only by qualifying in AKC licensed and member club agility trials. The titles earned at AKC Agility trials are Novice Agility (NA), Novice JWW (NAJ), Open Agility (OA), Open JWW (OAJ), Agility Excellent (AX), Excellent JWW (AXJ), Master Agility Excellent (MX), Master Excellent JWW (MXJ), and Master Agility Champion (MACH).

The AKC will identify dogs qualifying for titles by the appropriate title designations (NA, NAJ, OA, OAJ, AX, AXJ, MX, and MXJ) following their registered names in all official AKC records. In each case, the higher Standard or JWW title will supersede the preceding Standard or JWW title in all official AKC records such that the highest Standard and the highest JWW title will be listed. The AKC will identify a dog that achieves the Master Agility Champion title (MACH) by the appropriate designation (MACH) preceding their registered name in all official AKC records. The MACH designation will supersede all other Agility titles.

In order to acquire an Agility title, a dog must earn 3 qualifying scores per class level under at least two different judges.

Master Agility Champion Title

To obtain the MASTER AGILITY CHAMPION title (MACH), a dog must exhibit superior performance on the Agility course. Speed and consistency are the two major qualities denoting "superior performance" and therefore they are the basis for the MASTER AGILITY CHAMPIONSHIP program

In order to acquire the MASTER AGILITY CHAMPIONSHIP title, a dog must achieve a minimum of 750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores obtained from the Excellent B Standard Agility class and the Excellent B Jumpers With Weaves class.

Championship Points (CP's)
750 CP's required minimum

1 (CP) point is awarded for each full second under standard course time. (No partial points are awarded.) Dogs earn points from the Ex B Agility Class and/or the Ex B Jumpers With Weaves Class.

Double Qualify (2Q's)
20 (2Q's) required minimum

Dogs qualifying with scores of 100 in both the Ex B Agility Class and the Ex B Jumpers With Weaves Class on the same day.

Qualifying in both the Ex B Agility Class and the Ex B Jumpers With Weaves Class on the same day equals 1 (2Q).

Height Divisions, Wickets, Measurement

Dogs may only be entered in one jump height division per day for all classes.

  • The following jump height divisions shall be used in all trial classes:
    • 8 Inches: For dogs 10 inches and under at the withers.
    • 12 Inches: For dogs 14 inches and under at the withers.
    • 16 Inches: For dogs 18 inches and under at the withers.
    • 20 Inches: For dogs 22 inches and under at the withers.
    • 24 Inches: For dogs over 22 inches at the withers.

Preferred Agility Classes Standard and Jumpers With Weaves

These classes afford an opportunity for a greater variety of dogs, and their handlers to participate in the sport of agility.The preferred classes are subject to the same standards as the regular classes with the only difference being the height divisions, jump heights are lowered.  They require 3 qualifying scores under two different judges and will have the same course times.

The Preferred Classes and associated titles are:

  • Preferred Standard Agility Classes
    • Novice Agility Preferred - NAP
    • Open Agility Preferred - OAP
    • Agility Excellent "A" Preferred- AXP
    • Master Agility Excellent "B" Preferred - MXP
  • Preferred Jumpers With Weaves Classes
    • Novice Jumpers With Weaves Preferred - NJP
    • Open Jumpers With Weaves Preferred - OJP
    • Excellent Jumpers With Weaves "A" Preferred - AJP
    • Master Excellent Jumpers With Weaves "B" Preferred - MJP

Height Divisions

  • The following jump height divisions shall be used in all Preferred classes:
    • 4 Inches: For dogs 10 inches and under at the withers.
    • 8 Inches: For dogs 14 inches and under at the withers.
    • 12 Inches: For dogs 18 inches and under at the withers.
    • 16 Inches: For dogs 22 inches and under at the withers.
    • 20 Inches: For dogs over 22 inches at the withers.

Agility Equipment

  • The Jump Dogs jump various heights, depending on the size of the dog and the venue (AKC, NADAC or USDAA). And there are a variety of jumps.  There are panel jumps and double jumps as well. 
    • Bar Jumps consist of bars that are supported by bar supports that are mounted to uprights and they must be 4 to 5 feet long and striped for visibility.
    • The Panel Jump uses up to six cross-boards to give the illusion of a solid wall from the jump height to the ground. Specifications for the board supports and uprights are the same as for the Bar Jump.
    • The Double Bar Jump consists of two parallel bars positioned at the jump heights specified for the Bar Jump
    • The Triple Bar Jump consists of a series of three ascending bars
    • The broad jump The Broad Jump is composed of either four 8-inch sections or five 6-inch sections, and four corner markers.  Dogs must jump all sections without visibly moving or stepping on top of any broad jump board, entering between the marker poles placed near the front section and exiting between the poles placed near the back section.The length of the broad jump is again dependent on the size of the dog and the venue.

The Agility Tire

The Tire Jump consists of a tire (or a circular object that resembles a tire) suspended from a rectangular frame. The inner diameter of the tire is 24 inches plus or minus an inch, and the wall is 3 to 8 inches thick.Once again, the height of the tire depends on the dog and the venue.

The Agility Dog Walk

A contact obstacle, dogs must touch the yellow portion of the ramp (the contact) going both up and down the dog walk.  In NADAC, the up contact is not judged.  The Dog Walk consists of a center section and two ramp sections, the surfaces of which are made from wood or a wood-like substance. All sections are 12 inches wide, plus or minus an inch, and all are either 8 feet long or 12 feet long. Planks shall be connected so as to eliminate gaps large enough to fit a dog's foot or toe.

The Agility A-Frame

Another contact obstacle, dogs must touch the down contact in all venues.  In NADAC and AKC, the up contact is not judged.  The A-Frame is constructed from two panels, the top surface of which is constructed from wood or a wood-like substance. The panels are 35 to 49 inches wide, and their length is within 2 inches of 9 feet. Panels shall be of a consistent width, flat and straight, and connected so as to eliminate gaps large enough to fit a dogs foot or toe.

The Agility See-Saw

The See-saw consists of a plank (or panel) supported near the center by a base that acts as a fulcrum.  Another contact obstacle, dogs must touch the up and down contacts as well as maintain control of the board, not leaving the obstacle until it has hit the ground.  In NADAC, the up contact is not judged.

The Agility Table

Dogs must jump onto the table and sit or lie down (depending on the venue) for 5 seconds.  The height of the table (within 1 inch) is 8 inches for dogs in the 8-inch and 12-inch divisions, 16 inches for dogs in the 16-inch and 20-inch divisions, and 24 inches for dogs in the 24-inch division.

The Agility Tunnel

Dogs enter one end of the tunnel and exit the other end.  Its length is 10 to 20 feet and it is secured in position to prevent a dog from moving it.

The Agility Chute/Collapsed Tunnel

The Closed Tunnel consists of a rigid entrance section to which a chute is attached.  The material of the chute lies flat and the dog must push through to the exit.  It is also called the collapsed tunnel.

The Agility Weave Poles

The weaves consist of 9 to 12 poles that are mounted to a sturdy base.  Dogs must enter the Weave Poles by passing between poles number 1 and number 2 from right to left. They must then pass from left to right through poles number 2 and number 3 and continue this weaving sequence until they pass between the last two poles. If the sequence is broken, the dog must restart the correct sequence, either at or anywhere before the location of the error.

Agility Organizations

  • United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA)
    P.O. Box 850955, Richardson, TX 75085-0995
  • American Kennel Club (AKC)
    5580 Centerview Dr., Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606-3390
  • United Kennel Club (UKC)
    100 East Kilgore Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49001-5598
  • North American Dog Agility Council, Inc. (NADAC)
    HCR 2, Box 277, St. Maries, ID 83861
  • Agility Association of Canada (AAC)
    638 Wonderland Road South, London, ONT N6K 1L8


Contact Sterling Malinois


Free counters provided by Andale.
Current Dogs Former Dogs Pedigrees Malinois Activities Malinois Litters Resources
Broadcreek's Bijou du Sterling Former Dogs Ch. Broadcreek's Raisin' Cain Conformation Litter Plans Malinois Links
Ch Czar Sweet Vulcan Butch-Dog Broadcreek's Bijou du Sterling Obedience/Rally Former Litters Non-Belgian Kennels
Merson's High Plains Drifter Noblecroft's Highland Storm Ch Czar Sweet Vulcan Agility   Dog Clubs/Activities
New York New York du Hameau St-Blaise Ch. Broadcreek's Raisin' Cain Noblecroft's Highland Storm Herding   Health & Breeding
  GCh Merson's Juan in a Million Merson's High Plains Drifter     Shops & Supplies
    Ch Merson's Juan in a Million     Scentsy Candles
          Horse Links
           

Valid CSS! Valid HTML 4.01! Design and maintenance by Eolian Web Design  © 2000/2013 Last Update Monday, January 18, 2016
All material contained on this website is copyright protected either by Sterling Malinois, the website administrator or a third party. Photos are used with the permission of each individual owner. Unauthorized use of photos or graphics, without the express written permission of the owners, is forbidden.