on Sponsoring our 2007 Special Events
Saratoga Festival and Dressage
Memorial Day Weekend May
Saratoga Springs, NY
Dog Agility is a competitive sport in which a handler directs
a dog over a timed obstacle course. Dogs race against the clock as they jump
hurdles, scale ramps, race through tunnels, balance on a see-saw, leap through
suspended tires, run across a plank 4 feet off the ground, and weave through a
line of poles! Agility Certification Tests are being offered for several levels
of difficulty in standard agility, snooker, jumpers, gamblers, and pairs relay.
Scoring is either based on faults, as in equestrian jumping events, or on point
accumulation. Competitors who achieve a specified number of clean runs (no
faults) in their standard agility class, earn a title at that level and progress
to the next level of competition. Because of its fast pace and simple, objective
scoring system, dog agility is an exciting spectator sport.
The standard agility class is comprised of fourteen to twenty obstacles adapted
from the equestrian world and military canine corps, set out in a pattern of the
judge's choice. Handlers are permitted to walk the course without their dogs to
develop strategy prior to each class. Course faults are assessed for errors such
as knocking poles from hurdles, failing to touch the yellow zones on ramps of
the "contact" obstacles (the A-frame, see-saw, and dog walk), jumping off a
pause table before the end of a five second count, missed weave poles, and
running off course. Course faults and time penalties are combined for a final
score, with the lowest score being the winner.
Snooker is patterned after the British billiards game of "Snooker". The
obstacles are labeled as to their color and point value which ranges from 1-7,
with 'red' jumps having a value of 1. There is an 'opening' sequence of point
collection, requiring the dog to successfully complete a 'red' jump prior to
attempting an obstacle of any other color, followed by a 'closing ' sequence of
a set pattern for obstacles 2-7.
Jumpers consist primarily of hurdles and may include a tire and tunnels and must
be run in a pattern set by the judge.
Gamblers consist of a course with no pre-determined route and each obstacle is
assigned a point value. In the 'opening' period the handler seeks to accumulate
points by performing the obstacles of his/her own choice in the time allotted.
At the conclusion of the 'opening' the handler attempts the 'gamble', a sequence
designed by the judge to be handled from a distance, for additional points.
Pairs Relay consists of a standard course with one dog and handler running a
portion of the course, followed by a baton exchange to a second handler and dog
who run the second portion of the course.
The Dog Agility Masters® Team Championship is a pentathlon event which places
emphasis on dog agility as a team sport, with each individual on a
three-dog/three-handler team competing in each of five classes of competition:
standard agility, snooker, jumpers, gamblers, and three-dog team relay. Team
rankings and placements are based on the cumulative scores through the five
classes of competition. The top 50% of the teams will be eligible to participate
in the national finals to be held in Scottsdale, AZ.
The USDAA® Grand Prix of Dog Agility® is a single tournament
class, offered as a local qualifier. Competitors earning 7 or less faults in
each of two local qualifiers, may advance to one of six regional qualifiers
across the country. The USDAA® Grand Prix of Dog Agility® World Championships
will be held this November.
Agility began in England in 1978 as an "intermission" between events at the
Crufts International Dog Show. It was so enthusiastically greeted that it became
one of the most popular dog sports.
The USDAA was organized in 1986 and has grown to over 80 affiliated clubs
nationwide, and more than 16,000 registered dogs.
Dog agility provides a great opportunity for people and their dogs who want to
stay in shape, have fun and challenge themselves to compete for USDAA agility
titles. The USDAA encourages agility as a family sport and is open to all dogs,
purebred or mixed-bred.
For more information about local events and Y Agility, contact Brian Young, 4
Haber Way, Castleton, NY 12033. Phone/fax (518) 732-2180, or e-mail at [email protected]
For information about the national USDAA programs, contact Heather Smith, USDAA,
P.O. Box 850955, Richardson,
TX 75085-0955. Phone (972) 487-2200, e-mail at [email protected], or visit the
USDAA web site at www.usdaa.com