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Get Started in Agility

Diane Lewis ©AKC
Agility blends training and athletic ability, creating challenge and excitement for every breed. Dogs demonstrate their ability to negotiate a complex course that includes climbing an A-frame, jumping through hoops, running through tunnels and pausing on command. Competing in agility requires proper training, as it is a game of physical skill, control, patience and, most of all, teamwork between a handler and dog.

“Ever since I can remember, I have been showing in agility,” said Elizabeth Ridley, an American Kennel Club Junior Showmanship Scholarship recipient. “The amount of training I did with that (my first) dog is more than most people can even fathom….He taught me that hard work really does pay off. He taught me you are not going to get first place in every run, and, if you want to be successful, it is something that you must work at.”

You can participate in agility too! Follow these steps.

  1. Register your dog with the AKC!  Any AKC-registered dog 1-year or older or dog with a PAL number may enter an agility trial.
  2. Attend agility trials in your area. Watch and talk to experienced competitors.
  3. Contact a local AKC dog club and ask about training classes.
  4. Learn more detailed information about agility.

You Be The Agility Judge!

Map your own course. A novice (beginner's) agility course has a minimum of 13 obstacles. Read the Agility Obstacles sheet, print a copy, and cut out the pictures of the obstacles. Paste the pictures on a big sheet of paper or poster board to map out your own agility course. You may use an obstacle more than once.

Agility Course Fill-in!

Use this fun sheet to test your knowledge of the equipment used on an agility course!