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Agility Info

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Training Times -Agility

Starters Competition Standard
Saturdays @ 12:30 in Winter
Wednesday Evenings in Summer
Saturdays @ 1:30 in the Winter
Wednesday Evenings in Summer

Training venue - Top Demesnes, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham

Many members of the club compete at agility competitions at various levels of competency. We have dogs that compete at Elementary, Starter, and Novice and senior levels.  

What is agility? – For the totally uninitiated.

Agility is one of the most up and coming sports to hit in the last 20 years. Dogs are required to negotiate various obstacles without incurring faults. The obstacles can be jumps (various heights depending on size of the dog), a tyre, (suspended from a fixed frame), flat tunnel, rigid tunnel, and weave poles (up to 12 poles inserted in the ground at a distance of 18") which the dog has to enter the first pole from right to left and literally weave from right to left alternatively. Other obstacles are considered contact equipment, named as such as the dog has to make contact with a specific painted area at the bottom of the apparatus. The contact equipment is usually a seesaw, an a-frame and a dog walk, (this consists of 3 planks of wood, an incline, a horizontal plank and an ascending plank). Dogs need to have a high level of obedience to be able to carry out agility successfully. When dogs and their handlers reach a competent level they can start to compete.

An agility competition has various classes at different levels of competency. A Judge designs a course of up to 20 of the afore mentioned equipment pieces. The dog and handler has to negotiate the course in the order as set out by the judge both quickly and as accurately as they can, in a specified time given by the judge. Dogs can be faulted for various reasons, knocking a pole off, missing a contact, incorrectly weaving, and running past a jump. The ultimate "sin" is if a dog needs to relieve itself within the confines of the ring, when it will then be eliminated from the class. The winning dog is the one with the least number of faults in the quickest time. All handlers and dogs strive to get a fast clear round and collect a rosette or even better a trophy. Simple? Try it, it’s not as easy as you would imagine. See club’s training times and contact numbers for further information.