The Ultimate Guide to Dog Agility Sport in the UK

"Dogs lying in playground in a Dog Agility Tunnel"

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Dog Agility What is it?

Dog Agility Sport is a popular canine activity that involves the dog and its handler navigating an obstacle course together. The sport is designed to test the dog’s speed, agility, and accuracy while also showcasing the teamwork between the dog and its handler. In this blog, we’ll discuss the rules and regulations of Dog Agility Sport in the UK.

Overview of Dog Agility Sport in the UK

In the UK, Dog Agility Sport is regulated by the Kennel Club, which is the governing body for canine activities in the country. The Kennel Club organizes a range of events and competitions for Dog Agility Sport throughout the year, with the most prestigious being the Kennel Club Agility Championships.

What breed of Dog can do Agility?

The sport is open to all breeds of dogs, although certain breeds may be more suited to the activity than others.

What is Dog Agility 2

How old does my Dog need to be to start Agility?

To compete in Dog Agility Sports, the Dogs must be at least 18 months old and have a good level of physical fitness.

The Dog Agility Course

A Dog Agility Sport course consists of a variety of obstacles that the dog and handler must navigate in a specific order. The obstacles include jumps, tunnels, weave poles, A-frames, and seesaws, among others. The course is designed to test the dog’s speed, agility, and accuracy, as well as the handler’s ability to guide the dog through the course.

What is the Scoring system for Dog Agility?

The scoring system for Dog Agility Sport is based on the time taken to complete the course and the number of faults incurred by the dog. Faults can include knocking down a jump or missing an obstacle altogether. Time penalties are also incurred for exceeding the course time limit.  The dog with the fastest time and fewest faults is the winner.

A brown and white border collie dog going over the "A" frame in Dog agility with handler stood next the the frame.

Dog Agility Classes

Dog Agility Sport is divided into several classes based on the level of experience of the dog and handler. The classes are as follows:

  • Beginners/Novice
  • Elementary/Intermediate
  • Advanced/Open
  • Championship

The Beginners/Novice class is for dogs and handlers who are new to the sport, while the Championship class is for the most experienced competitors.

What are the Rules and Regulations for Dog Agility in the UK?

Rules and Regulations

To compete in Dog Agility Sport in the UK, there are several rules and regulations that must be followed. These include:

  • Dogs must be at least 18 months old and have a good level of physical fitness.
  • Handlers are not allowed to touch the dog or the obstacles during the course.
  • The dog must complete the course in the correct order.
  • Handlers are not allowed to use food or toys to encourage the dog through the course.
  • Dogs must be under control at all times and not aggressive towards other dogs or people.
  • Handlers must not interfere with other competitors.

How do I Qualifying for Competitions?

To compete in higher-level competitions, dogs and handlers must first qualify by achieving certain results in lower-level competitions. The Kennel Club sets out specific rules and regulations for qualifying, which vary depending on the level of competition. The highest level of competition, is the Kennel Club Agility Championships, which takes place annually and features the best dogs and handlers from across the country.

Training for Dog Agility Sport

Training for Dog Agility Sport requires time, patience, and dedication from both the dog and the handler.  It’s important to start with basic training and gradually progress to more challenging obstacles and courses. Many dog training schools and clubs now offer classes in Dog Agility Sport and these can be a great way to get started and to meet other like-minded dog owners aswell.

What is Dog Agility 4

Does Agility Build Confidence in Dogs?

Dog Agility can certainly help to build confidence in your Dog and strengthen the bond between handler and their Dog. Going under, over and through obstacles can be a fantastic way of incorporating confidence building in to your Dog Training sessions too!

What about Safety in Dog Agility Sports?

Safety is of utmost importance in Dog Agility Sport and all obstacles must be set up and maintained to a high standard. Handlers should also ensure that their dogs are in good physical condition and not at risk of injury. Dogs doing Agility, must wear appropriate safety gear and should be checked for any injuries or health concerns before competing.

In Conclusion

Dog Agility Sport is a thrilling and exciting activity for dogs and their handlers, and the UK has a thriving community of competitors. The sport is regulated by the Kennel Club, and competitions are held throughout the year. If you’re interested in getting involved in Dog Agility, be sure to check out the Kennel Club website for more information on how to get started & you and your Dog could be competing at the highest levels of this exciting Dog Sport!

Take a look at some Dog Agility Product Recommendations by clicking the links below:

*See Saw

*Professional Agility Tunnel

*Dog Agility Jumps

*Soft Blocks

*Weaves

Good reference points for further information about Dog Agility:

The Kennel Club UK Agility Net UK Agility.com

Here is just a small selection of more of my favourite Dog Products

Thank you so much for reading my Dog Blogs. I hope you find them really helpful and informative. Here are a few Dog products which I use/have used, as a Dog Trainer and/or Dog Owner that I hope you will also find helpful. These are affiliate links (please refer to my full disclosure throughout my website) therefore if you do use them, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to yourself. However, these products are a selection of the products I use with my own Dogs and I have no problem at all in recommending them to likeminded Dog owners. Some of the items you can also see on my YouTube channel like the one above.

Tough Dog ToyKONG Extreme Dog Toy – I love these so much as I can put my Dogs food in it and freeze it, it becomes a fab way to feed and has so many uses, we even play hide ‘n’ seek with them! (I also have used the Classic Red Kong toy with my Dog’s who have now passed)

DINGO GEAR Bite SleeveDINGO GEAR Atos Black Nylcot Bite Sleeve My Working Line German Shepherd Dog absolutely loves this Bite Sleeve. I’ve had it almost a year now and it’s fair to say it’s certainly taken some serious use. We use it at least twice each week but often it’s much more. I have no problem recommending this sleeve as it’s standing up to the durability that Dingo Gear are renowned for. I love the brand as it is in my own opinion, top quality.

Tough Dog Muzzle Dingo Gear Dog Training Muzzle – This Dog Muzzle is Tough! It is handmade from leather and has reinforced Muzzle and Herm Sprenger buckle. Make no mistake when I say this is Top Quality. There are different sizes available, however, for my Working Line German Shepherd Dog I have size 2. When the muzzle arrives, it may feel quite stiff, but, bear in mind that leather does get softer with use, just like leather Dog leads, they become more subtle.

Dog Grooming/Bathing The AquaPaw Pet Bathing Tool. OMG! This Dog Grooming product has been a game changer for me. If you have difficulty when it comes to Bathing your Dog/s, or if you have dexterity issues with your hands (like me, I have arthritis), then this product can make it much easier. I have videos going into detail of how easy this product makes bathing my Dogs. I always recommend this product to anyone and everyone I come across who owns Dogs.

Dog Cage Ellie – Bo Dog Cage I know the use of Dog cages/crates is always likely to be a contentious one in the Dog owning world, however I do believe it’s a personal choice, and there are many reasons as to why someone may choose to use a Dog cage. All that aside, there are 2 main brands of Dog cages I use. First up is Ellie – Bo. I have a huge Dog cage in the house for my working line Gsd to sleep in, and that is an Ellie – Bo Dog cage, It has been a great Dog cage. I’ve had it for a fair few years now and it sure has given me my monies worth. I recently purchased an Ellie – Bo Dog Cage cover for it, and it fits absolutely spot on. I can’t fault it at all. I love the products and love the Brand. The second brand of Dog Cage I use is Savic. For many many years I used Savic Dog cages in my vehicles. They are the most robust, sturdy cage I had come across on the market at the time, in terms of foldable portable Dog cages go, and they fitted my Dogs at that time and my vehicles with ease. I used to tether them to the anchor points in the boot of my vehicles so they were secure, and they didn’t move. they may cost a few quid more, but they are so worth it in my view, especially if they are going in a vehicle. ( Although there are specific companies that manufacture cages etc to fit in vehicles, I am simply talking about foldable cages here, in this Dogblog) These are just a few of my current fav’s that I’d like to share with you, I thank you for reading my DogBlog. To view some more of my recommendations, you can check out my other DogBlogs by clicking here!

Health Supplement Gold Label Brewers Yeast I feed my Dogs a Raw Diet and I endeavour to ensure they are getting all the nutrients etc that they need in their diet. However, regardless of whether it’s Raw or Kibble, there are some vitamins and minerals that are just a tad harder to find than others, and that is why I supplement with Brewers Yeast. It has so many benefits: It’s a natural prebiotic for a healthy gut, recommended as a skin and coat conditioner for show stock, natural source of B group vitamins which are essential for growth and healthy nervous and digestive system.. there are many more benefits, too many to list here. However, I have noticed an improvement in my Dogs condition, especially one which is on long term sterodial medication, so I intend to keep adding it to their food. (The 300g tubs last ages!)

Tick Remover O’Tom Tick Twister Yeah, those awful pests that can spread disease. TICKS! I live in an area of beautiful countryside in Scotland, however, so do many many thousands of Ticks (and Deer). It’s inevitable that my Dogs will get them, and they do! So, I use this Tick Twister. It doesn’t seem like much, but they are effective. They only thing I would change about them is the size of the handle/grip, but we manage. They are easy to use, it tends to be more of a case of getting the Dog to sit still while we get the Tick that is the biggest problem, not the actual Tick removal! These come in a 2 pack, though the largest of them seems to be easier to use for me. Again, I do have a video on my YouTube channel showing me use these. I think they are a must for every Dog owner.

Flea and Tick Spray – Barrier Natural Flea and Tick Spray – One of the main selling points for me with this Flea and Tick spray is the fact that is uses 100% natural ingredients. I have used this Flea and Tick Spray for many years now and none of my Dogs who I’ve used it on have had any problems with it. (Always read instructions before using of course.) The odour seems a tad strong at first when I apply it to my Dog, however it calms down very quickly and it isn’t an unpleasant odour at all and the odour doesn’t appear to affect my Dog in any way. I apply it especially before my Dog is to have off leash exercise as it’s a guarantee that my Dog will at the least brush past bracken or be around where Deer or livestock have been. (*Disclaimer – Please consult with your Dog’s vet or Vet nurse prior to using this product especially if you use prescribed Flea and Tick medication for your Dog/s as I don’t know about the ingredients compatibility with prescribed medications etc. Always better to be over-cautious.)

Dog Agility & Hoopers Callieway® – I love the Callieway Brand of products. We have never had any issues with the equipment/product quality and it is such great value for money. Great products, whether it’s to practice at home or at a Dog Training Club!

**Disclaimer : Toughdogproducts.co.uk aka Toughdogproducts.com , does not provide veterinary advice, nor does it claim to be an alternative to seeking professional advice. All content is therefore for informational purposes only.

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