for fun or competition
Agility Competition Example
In agility, you and your dog navigate an obstacle course with different types of agility equipment. The standard course can contain an A-Frame, dog walk, jumps, tunnels, teeter, or weave poles. The goal is to navigate the course in order under a certain time without making mistakes (i.e., obstacles taken out of order, etc.). Depending on the venue, beginners typically get a few attempts for each obstacle and have a longer time to complete the course. In advanced levels, there is only one attempt per obstacle and the time to complete the course is shorter. In the video, you'll see a "clean run" or a run without any mistakes and under time. Although it is great to get first, second, or third, the goal is more or less to have a "clean run", so you can earn points and titles.
Beginner Agility Class Example
For beginner agility, we work on getting your dog exposure to the equipment on leash. The A-Frame, Dog walk, Jumps, Tunnels, Table, and hoops are all relatively simple obstacles that can be taught within a beginner 6-week agility class. However, some of the obstacles can take a lot of time to fully master (e.g., weave poles and teeter). In the video, you'll see what beginner classes look like and how we give your dog exposure to each piece of equipment they'll see in agility. It's a great confidence booster for your dog, and a lot of fun. We would expect that your dog has some control off-leash. It doesn't have to be perfect, but you'll get much more out of the class. We strongly encourage everyone to take our 6-week Obedience or Sports Obedience class beforehand.
Agility Private Lessons
Beginner agility classes are limited as we can only offer one every 6-weeks. To ensure classes run smoothly, we like to make sure that dogs know the equipment and can be controlled off-leash before they move into a regular agility class. As such, you'll only see beginner agility and sports obedience classes listed on our online schedule.
If our beginner agility class isn't offered when you're available to take it, you can take private lessons if you want to get through the basics with your dog. Once you're dog is on equipment and starting to sequence off-leash, you can move to one of our standard weekly agility classes that run more frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does my dog need obedience training to start agility?
A: Yes, your dog should know the basic commands to enter a beginner agility class. In the very beginning, we'll work on-leash, but towards the end, we'll start to sequence off-leash if we feel dogs are ready. We strongly recommend Basic Obedience or Sports Obedience class which we offer every six weeks.
Q: My dog is less than 9 months old. Can we join a beginner agility class?
A: Not yet. agility involves a fair amount of jumping which can cause long-term damage if the growth plates in their bones aren't fully closed. Also, you'll get more out of the class if your dog has developed some focus and obedience. If you've never taken an obedience class with your puppy, you'll need to take Puppy Kindergarten and you can move onto Puppy Sporting after that. Once your dog is old enough (1+ years), you can move into agility. If your dog is on the cusp (9 months - 1 year) and has good obedience, we recommend taking an agility private lesson where we can evaluate your dog's skills and recommend what the next step would be.
Q: My puppy has taken puppy kindergarten already and knows the basic commands. If we want to get into agility, what class can we take next?
A: Please take Puppy Sporting. In that class, we'll get your dog use to motion under their feet (i.e., rocker board) and build confidence through fun exercises. You'll learn how to keep your dog's attention and regain it if they loose focus. since they are still puppies, we'll do exercises in short duration vs. regular Sports Obedience where the dogs are a little older and have more attention.
Q: Do I need to bring anything for a lesson?
A: Please bring high value treats for your dog. We'll use those treats to lure them over the obstacles and keep their attention.
Q: I don't see a beginner class for a few months. How can I start now?
A: Again, we highly recommend starting with Sport Obedience first so you can get your dog ready for off-leash training, working on both sides of your body, impulse control, and the general obedience needed for agility. If you still don't want to wait, please consider taking a private agility lesson, so you can get through the basics. This also allows for a lot more schedule flexibility and we can customize the lesson to your dog's specific needs.
Q: I've taken some agility classes at another facility or I took classes a long time ago. Can I skip your beginner agility class?
A: Maybe. it really depends on you and you're dog's skill level. We would recommend taking an agility private lesson to get a fair assessment of your skill level. Again, we like to keep the regular agility classes for folks whose dogs know the equipment and can work off-leash.
If there isn't any agility classes scheduled in the coming month, you can always take
Puppy Sporting (<1 year old) or Sports Obedience (1+ year old) in training group class schedule
Or, you can sign-up for a 30 minute private agility lesson ($40); this can work for both beginners or more experienced agility dogs. you can view the schedule, book and pay online with the link here.
If you don't see it offered in the coming months or have questions, email email@example.com