What exactly is Agility?

Doing sports together or having a common hobby, many dog owners dream of it already, before the own little friend has moved in at all. Agility is often mentioned as one of the first dog sports that freshly baked dog owners would like to try out with their dog.

What is Agility?

Agility originated in England as an imitation of horse riding tournaments. Therefore some course elements remind us of that e.g. the hurdle. The course consists of 15-22 obstacles and has to be run through in a certain pre-determined order together with the dog. The dog runs over the obstacles and his owner leads him alongside. The dog sport enjoys a great popularity worldwide and is firmly established in competitive sports.

Which obstacles are there?

  • Hurdles
  • Tunnel/Soft Tunnel
  • Seesaw
  • Table
  • Slalom
  • Wall
  • Tires
  • Long jump
  • Catwalk
  • A-Wall

Which dogs are suited for agility?

It is very difficult to make a general statement about which breeds are suitable for which dog sport. Especially with Agility it depends mainly on the health, the personality and one or the other issues that the dog brings along. A dog that does agility should first be healthy and physically resilient. Agility puts a lot of strain on the joints, so dogs should be at least 1.5 years old before they practice jumps or slalom. The personality also plays an important role. Dogs that are generally restless, hectic, easily irritable or stressed should prefer to use more quiet and concentrated forms of activity. Dogs with a good basic education, a relaxed but also motivated mind are better suited to do the rather hectic sport.

How do I start with Agility?

It is important to take it slowly. Before you run a first course with your dog, it is important that your dog lets you lead him. When your dog follows you freely, you start to lead him to the first obstacles. Patience is also required here! Make sure that your dog can get to know each obstacle in peace and quiet and make the training playful and with many breaks!

Can you do Agility also at home?

Meanwhile, many online stores and also the retail trade offer cheap agility sets. These sets usually consist of 1-2 hurdles, a slalom and your tunnel and are completely sufficient for a varied activity in the garden. However, if you want to participate in competitions with your dog or if you want to do sports more intensively, you should ask for a club in your area.

By Sarah Mertes

Certified dog trainer