Looking After Your Dog, Part Seven – Dog Agility Training
By Niall Kennedy
Dog agility is a sport in which a dog runs on a course, laid with intermittent obstacles, under the supervision of its owner or trainer. The sport made its debut as an entertainment event for spectators at the Crufts Dog Show in 1979, and has not looked back since then. Dog agility sport now enjoys immense popularity in England, Western Europe and North America. Dog agility is very much modelled on the show jumping sport of horses (equestrian), with a few additions of its own.
There are a lot many different variations of the sport. International rules and specifications have been laid out for the sport, and they require a supreme level of agility from the competing dogs. Trials, which are conducted by dog training clubs, are sanctioned by several national and international organizations. The required level of competence relates directly to the height of jumps and the size of obstacles in a dog agility course. Apart from the dog agility events held at the national/international level, the sport is also carried out at a lower scale in small districts and towns. Here, the rules might not be as stringent as they are at the large scale games.