What is Dog Agility?
Dog agility is a fun activity for both handler and dog. Agility involves the dog negotiating a course of obstacles, including jumps, contact equipment (a-frames, dog walks and see-saws), tyres, tunnels and weaving poles, against the clock. Every course is different and is designed set by the judge. The quickest dog to complete the course without faults is the winner. Faults will be awarded for any poles that are knocked down, if the dog misses the "contact points" on the contact equipment, for a refusal or if the weaving poles are not manoeuvred correctly. There are also time faults awarded if the dog is not quick enough.Winning dogs receive rosettes and trophies and there are many dogs competing for points which allow them to take part in leagues. At the end of the year, the dog with the most points wins a special prize and the recognition of being "top dog"!There are 7 grades in agility, from 1-7 and as dogs win classes at competitions, they progress through the ranks, with 1 being the beginners' grade and 7 being the most senior. Handlers also progress through these grades. You can find out more about the agility grade system on the how to compete page.
If you would prefer not to compete, there is no reason why you should not just train your dog for fun. Packington has a nice mix of competing and non-competing members, which keeps a really friendly atmosphere at the club. But be careful - many people start off training just for fun and love it so much they start competing!