What is Agility?

Currently the hottest canine sport being enjoyed by both purebred and mixed breed dogs alike.  Agility is like a playground for dogs. They are taught to:

  • Climb a leaning wall (A-frame).
  • Walk across a high, narrow plank (dogwalk).
  • Navigate a teeter-totter.
  • Weave back and forth through a set of standing poles (weave poles).
  • Dash through a tunnel.
  • Pause for five seconds on a table.
  • Jump a variety of jumps, including a tire.

Texas is lucky to have many agility trials each year.  An agility trial is a timed event where a dog and handler attempt to successfully negotiate an obstacle course (which is unique from trial to trial) with the dog performing each obstacle at the handler’s direction. Dogs are judged on accuracy and speed, and the most accurate dog with the fastest time wins the class.

While running an agility course, the handler can give verbal commands and/or signals but cannot touch the dog or the agility obstacles. “Faults” are assessed by the judge for mistakes made, such as knocking a jump bar, taking obstacles out of order, touching the dog or equipment, etc.

There are several agility organizations that sanction agility trials/tests, and these trials/tests are held by agility clubs. The organizations that are predominant in the Texas area include:

Each of these organizations has their own rules and regulations for agility trials, and all allow any breed of dog (including mixed breeds) to compete.