Dog agility was born in 1977 in England at the Crufts Dog Show. The idea stemmed from creating a show jumping event for dogs to keep the audience entertained during the intermission, and since then it hasn’t stopped attracting fans.
What does Dog agility consist in?
The dog must get through a circuit made up of a series of obstacles, helped by instructions from his owner, within a time limit set by a judge.
In agility, it is very important that the dog should learn certain commands such as sit, lie down, stay, and that it should be able to follow hand instructions as once on the track the owner will be the one in charge of showing the dog, through gestures and commands, which way to go.
Of course, due to their genetic characteristics, certain breeds are more likely to stand out from others in agility. But one should keep in mind that the key to success in this sport lies in the coordination and nimbleness of the owner, as well as in their capacity to communicate and have a good relationship with their dog. Consequently, it is not unusual to see pooches of different breeds, including mixed breeds, appear on the podiums of renowned international competitions.
Any dog, regardless of its breed or size, can partake in an agility competition. It is vital that the dog be in good health and, most of all, that it should not suffer from illnesses such as dysplasia or other types of ailment. For that reason, it is best to do a good veterinary check up beforehand.
There are three categories in which your dog can compete, according to its size:
- S (for small dogs) below 35 cm at the withers.
- M (for medium dogs) between 35 cm and 43 cm at the withers.
- L (for large dogs) from 43 cm at the withers, and above.
The obstacles are classified in three categories:
- Jumps: hurdles, panel, spread and tire jump.
- Contact obstacles: seesaw, dog walk and crossover.
- Others: tunnel, collapsed tunnel, weave poles, long jump and pause table.
The benefits of doing agility with your dog
- It’s a good way to keep both of you in good shape, all the while improving your coordination and concentration.
- You will learn to communicate better with your dog and vice versa.
- Obstacles are a proprioception exercise. It’s a great opportunity for easily scared dogs to gain trust and self-confidence.
- You will meet plenty of dog lovers, just like you!
And if you’re busy but still want your dog to exert itself, remember that our dog sitters are here to help!