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Brief Introduction to Dog Agility

Dogs love agility! Author Jane Simmons-Moake writes in her book about agility that it is, "...a visit to a doggy amusement park." Click on Chipper or Cody for agility info on our dogs (also you can use the dropdown menu from the Agility menu above).

Agility is an exciting fun sport for you and your dog which builds upon your relationship with your dog. You and your dog are a team! As the handler, you use hand signals and words to lead your off leash dog through an obstacle course. Prior to each event (run) there is a walk through where the handler learns the course and practices different strategies for completing it. Each run is timed as dogs rush through tunnels, jump through tires, run across a teeter-totter and "dog-walk", sit or down on a table for five seconds and climb an A-frame.

Agility was founded in Texas by Kenneth Tastch in 1986 as the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA). Now, there are 4 organizations: USDAA, AKC (American Kennel Club), NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council) and UDC (United Kennel Club). Three levels are offered in most agility competitions - novice, open, and elite. The difficulty of the course and the number of obstacles varies between classes. There are 5 types of competition events: standard/titling, jumpers, gamblers, pairs and snooker.

Agility is challenging for both dog and handler. Bichons are so smart that they are eager learners, and love to move quickly through the obstacles. For all dogs, agility is a physical sport that can improve their body. For some bichons, agility is a confidence builder.