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Pet Resources - Dog Behavior and Training

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The Sport of Dog Agility

Since its original debut at the Crufts dog Show in 1979, dog agility has become the most rapidly growing dog sport throughout North America, England and Western Europe . There are many different organizations for agility with varying levels of agility required from the dogs. There are several national organizations in the U.S. , including the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), the American Kennel Club (AKC), and the North American Dog Agility Council, Inc. (NADAC), as well as several international organizations.

During a dog agility competition, a handler is allotted a set amount of time to direct a dog through an obstacle course. The obstacles may include any of the following: A-frames, dog walks, see-saws, pipe tunnels, collapsed tunnels, pause tables, weave poles, tire or hoop jumps and various other types of jumps. While the handlers are directing the dog through the course, they are not allowed to touch the dog or the equipment. They can, however, give an unlimited number of commands or signals to the dog. If a dog does certain actions like taking down a jump bar, performing obstacles out of sequence, or failing to complete an obstacle, he is faulted. Dogs exceeding the set time are also given time penalties.