An Introduction to the Sport of Dog Agility

by Fred Brattain

Whether you are first introduced to Agility as a sport for you and your dog, or you have just been invited to go watch your friend’s dog compete, there are some things that you should know to make it more enjoyable. Hopefully this article will help with those bits of knowledge.

Agility got started in England as an entertainment at horse shows, so many of the terms and obstacles are the same, originally a jumping contest for dogs designed much as the horse show jumping courses were designed. It progressed from there into a national sport and acquired its own set of obstacles to complement the jumps. The sport was first introduced into the US by the USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association) sometime in the 1980’s and has grown incredibly fast.

In the greater Sacramento area one can currently compete in multiple agility venues. Each venue has its own rules and “flavor”. Read more about each on their websites:

AKC – American Kennel Club
CPE – Canine Performance Events
NADAC – North American Dog Agility Council
USDAA – United States Dog Agility Association