Dog Sports
Agility, Flyball, Obedience & Heelwork to Music


Agility began in the late 70's to entertain the crowds at Crufts in the gap between the end of the Obedience Championship and the Breed Group judging, it was a huge success and soon became a competitive sport.

Agility is often referred to as "show jumping for dogs", but it is not just about clearing a course of jumps against the clock. An agility course consists of "obstacles" arranged into a course by the judge, the competitors run their dogs around the course tackling each obstacle in the correct order and competing for the clear round in the fastest time.

There is more to it than just jumps, there is also an A frame, a high level dog walk, a rigid tunnel and a floppy tunnel as well as a table, a tyre and weaving poles. The obstacles have "contact", areas at the beginning and end of the obstacle, and the dog must tread on these otherwise points will be lost. The contacts are painted a different colour to make it easier for the judge to see whether the dog touches the contacts or not.

If you want to start in agility with your dog you must contact a local agility club.
Do not attempt any agility training at home without advice or instruction before hand - your dog and you could end up with a severe injury!
Speak to the instructor, discuss your dog, the level of training you currently have and any health or fitness problems that your dog may suffer - agility is a physically demanding sport even at a fun level.
Ask if you can come to watch the training and talk to people with experience, you may be invited to take you dog down so that she can be assessed for fitness and obedience.

Most agility clubs have classes for beginners and if the instructor is satisfied that you are ready to begin agility classes you will be enrolled in the appropriate class. You will need good basic obedience such as a solid 'down', 'wait' and 'come' before you are ready to even start thinking about taking up agility at a fun level.

Training for agility should not start before the dog is 12mth old. They are still growing and developing before this age, and any excessive jumping or exercise will often result in injury to the dog. Some clubs will allow you to walk you dog through jumps, to get them used to them.
Having to wait until your dog is 12mths old means you have plenty of time to work on your basic obedience - perfect your dogs 'wait', 'down' and 'come'. You could even work on commands to use for sending your dog in a different direction, ie) left and right. Once a Border Collie gets the agility bug... you will need all obedience and contro you can muster! Work on it now!

Once you both have the bug you may like to enter competitions.
To enter Kennel Club Agility Competitions:
dog will need to be registered with The Kennel Club on either the Breed or Working Register.
Your dog will need to be at least 18 months old.
Your club will no doubt have people who compete and they will be able to advise you on shows to attend, and help you to fill out your first schedule.

Above all, remember once you have the agility bug, it is very addictive
- but above all it has to be fun for you and your dog.


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Heelwork to Music

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