About Dog Agility

dog agility

About Dog Agility

  • Invented: 1978
  • Founded By: John Varley and Peter Meanwell
  • Highest Governing Body: The American Kennel Club (AKC)

Dog agility is a sport that requires the owner or trainer to direct their dog through a preset obstacle course within a specified time limit. Dog agility courses typically have anywhere from 14-20 obstacles which can include tunnels, weave poles, seesaws, and pause tables where the dog has to stay still for a fixed amount of time. The commands a dog responds to during an agility competition are developed by the trainer; putting in the time and effort to help their dog understand the proper cues and body language is crucial to successfully making it through the obstacles on the course. Typically, the dogs who perform the best are the ones who have extensive training and are not easily distracted by crowds or loud noises. Competing in dog agility events helps form a strong bond between trainer and canine while providing mental stimulation and exercise for dogs. 


What is dog agility?

Dog agility is a sport in which an owner guides their dog through a series of 14-20 different obstacles in a timed event. In order to earn a qualifying score at an event, the dog must complete the course within the time limit and without receiving any non-qualifying point deductions. There are numerous different levels of competition and point deductions based on the type of competition. There are competitions for different breeds of dogs with varying experience levels. 

Is dog agility good for dogs?

The athletic challenge of competing in dog agility proves to keep dogs fit and healthy. Competing helps prevent obesity, increases endurance, and strengthens their bones and joints in the process. Another important benefit of competing in dog agility is the sport’s ability to exercise the dog’s mind, giving them opportunities to learn and solve problems on the fly. Agility training also helps keep humans in shape as trainers run alongside their dogs during competitions and practice.

What obstacles are in a dog agility course?

There are 14-20 different obstacles that make up an entire dog agility course. Some of the obstacles typically seen in competition are hurdles, walls, rising speed jumps, brush fences, tire hoops, long jumps, water jumps, wishing wells, pipe tunnels, weaving poles, A-frames, seesaws, and dog walks. The heights of some of these obstacles vary based on the level of competition, as well as the size and breed of the dog competing. Each course is designed differently, with some obstacles being added or taken away depending on the competition or event.