Agility, in basic terms, is an obstacle course that dogs run while the handler directs them where to go. In competition, people compete for titles. To someone who has worked hard training their dog and putting lots of time into getting ready for competition, nothing is more gratifying than being successful and earning a title.
If you were to survey participants at an agility competition, also know as an agility “trial,” “match” or “show,” they would all have different ways to define agility. However, from the highest level of competition to someone just practicing agility in their backyard, the common idea is to have fun with your dog! Agility is a sport, in which the ultimate goal is teamwork. The dog’s responsibility is executing the agility obstacles, or in dog terms, running, jumping, climbing. The human’s responsibility is to direct the dog on course and show them where to go next.
Agility is all about speed and precision, and is great exercise for both the human and the dog! Agility is a great confidence builder for timid dogs, or a great energy release for those dogs that are just too wound up. The bond training and competing creates between dog and handler is like no other. You learn how to communicate through motion and body cues. A successful agility team is not necessarily the fastest, but a team in which motion is smooth and flawless.
People do agility with their dogs for various reasons. Some are just looking for something fun to do with their dog and have no interest in competing. There are some teams who compete on a limited basis by attending local shows to earn titles. Some people compete often, traveling all around, spending up to three days at a time working towards Masters Titles or Championships. The “die-hards” compete to qualify for nationals, invitationals and may even go as far as trying out for the world team. Agility at the highest level possible are world events, similar to the Olympics. Countries all around the world compile teams of the best dogs and handlers and compete for medals against each other.
Regardless of your agility goals, if you are looking for something fun to do with your dog, agility is for you! Morris K9 Campus is proud to offer agility classes and workshops at every level. If you are curious, a “die-hard” or somewhere in between, call us today at 973-252-5100 to learn more about what agility class might be right for you and your pet!