Agility Events

Agility is one of the AKC's newest events. It has experienced phenomenal growth over the last ten years, and with good reason: Dogs love it, competitors love it, and it has enormous spectator appeal. Agility competitions began in England and were then introduced in the United States by Charles ("Bud") Kramer in the early 1980s. Kramer was instrumental in its success as an activity in which all dogs could participate. He also developed the increasingly popular Rally Obedience (see Chapter 13).

After a slow start, the popularity of agility competitions exploded. It's an exciting and exhilarating sport for both handler and dog (see Figure 21-1). You may have already seen it on one of the cable television channels that specializes in televising dog events.

The AKC isn't the only organization that sponsors agility trials, but it now has the largest number of trials. Other organizations sponsoring agility trials are the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), which started it all, the Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA), and the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC). There are also international agility competitions.

The dogs, under the direction of their handlers, negotiate a complex obstacle course that includes walking over a three- or four-foot-high plank, weaving in and out of a series of poles, jumping over and through objects, and going through tunnels. To compensate for the size differences among dogs and to make the competition fair, four height divisions exist. You and Buddy can earn nine AKC agility titles, as well as titles awarded by other organizations. The original four titles are shown in Table 21-1.

Dog Potty Training

Dog Potty Training

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