Showing Your Dog

What form of agility should I start with?

In deciding what flavor of agility to focus on initially, there are two things to consider: 1. what can your dog do safely and comfortably; and 2. what is readily available to you. For most dogs, USDAA and AAC (which most closely follow the international rules with 30" jumps for the largest dogs) are the most physically demanding flavors of agility with higher and wider jumps, and steeper A-frame. AKC and NADAC have lower jump heights across the board. However for those dogs that are just above the height cut offs, AKC and NADAC can be more demanding.

Regarding availability, USDAA and AKC are the most wide spread. Check out what agility training groups near you do, since that will be most available. UKC (previously NCDA) and NADAC tend to have regional pockets of activity around the country. NADAC is very strong in the Northwest, several events are also held in the northeast, CA, FL, and Chicago area. The heart of UKC agility has been Kansas and surrounding states, with a strong pocket in the Chicago area, and some events elsewhere. Canadian agility (AAC) is of course primarily in Canada, although groups in Washington state and Detroit have held AAC sanctioned classes as well. Even if you don't expect to enter events for a while, start now with watching the agility calendar of events to find out what's available within what you consider reasonable distance. (Warning: agility is likely to change your definition of a reasonable distance!)

Whatever flavor looks like a good place for you to start - write and get their agility regulations. For all but AKC, joining as a member and getting their newsletter as well as the rules is DEFINITELY the best way to start - even if you don't expect to compete in the coming year. The rules are not crystal clear but they are a good starting point for coming up to speed about the sport. (Sally Sheridan)


   |  FAQ Home  |  At the Start Line »


Main Categories