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Dog agility training – obstacles

Dog Agility Training : Standard Obstacles

  • Three contact obstacles, including the A-frame, see-saw, and dog walk
    (Contact means an obstacle that has a painted “contact zone” that the dog must touch with at least one paw.)

1. An “A-frame” is just two boards placed together in an a-shape. The dog climbs up one side, and down the other. There are horizontal slats on them for traction.
2. The see-saw is a plank set on a center fulcrum. The dog must move from one end to the other, while coping with the movement of the board.
3. The dog walk is essentially a balance beam for dogs.

  • Set of ten to twelve weave poles
    (These are similar to a slalom course, where the dog weaves back and forth between a set of vertical poles while going from one end to the other of a path.)
  • Two tunnels, one collapsible tunnel and one pipe tunnel
  • One table
  • One tire or hoop jump
  • Three winged hurdles, one of which must be a spread hurdle.
    (Other additional hurdles (primarily of a winged-type) may be added to meet minimum obstacle standards for each class level.)

Similar to other sporting events, agility competitions also have different classes to keep the competition fair and allow for the greatest number of participants. There are size classes, age classes, experience levels, and events for purebred dogs, mixed breed dogs, or both.

It is truly a sport for all dogs, except the very young, very old or exceptionally challenged. Done well, it provides challenge and excitement for the dog, as well as physical conditioning and fitness, it provides a mental challenge for the handler, and it increases the bond between dog and handler for a satisfying emotional reward.

Agility’s accessibility is part of what makes it so attractive to so many, but as with any other sport, training is important for enjoyment and the hope of successful competition. Agility training is not especially difficult, but as with all dog training, it does require commitment, consistency, persistence, and a positive attitude.

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