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Dog Agility: A Fun and Lively Sport your Dog will Enjoy
By: Tippy & Turbo

Dog agility is a sport in which the intelligence, physical
endurance and agility of a dog is tested by setting it a
challenge to overcome a set of different obstacles. The dog,
while off the leash, is directed through these obstacles by
the handler and needs to complete the obstacle course under
a set time limit. This sport evolved from equestrian stadium
jumping competitions and has its own scoring system,
obstacles and ideal performances.

If you intend to participate in Dog Agility competitions
with your dog it is important to understand that you and
your dog must learn to work together as a team. Training
your dog to do the different agility sport obstacles
requires great physicality, proper training, patience and
control. You must be accurate above all else, and be able to
finish under the set time limits for the competition. Dog
Agility competitions can be a great workout and great fun
for both you and your dog, and you and your dog will form a
bond that is seldom accomplished between human and dog.

The agility course usually will have tunnels, a pause table,
poles, weave, jumps and contact obstacles. All of these
obstacles are made with certain safety standards in mind and
to appeal to the viewing audience. Most everything is
displayed in such a way as to minimize injury to the
participating dog.

The contact obstacles include an A-frame, see-saw and dog-
walk. Examples of the precision required in this sport
include: Making sure that the dog has at least one paw on
the yellow painted areas on the way up and the way down is
especially required for the contact obstacles. And when the
dog is going through the weave poles it must enter right of
the first pole and weave around each pole until it exits the
poles to the left.

All of the jumps that a dog is required to perform have been
designed so that should the dog come into contact with the
pole in the air the pole will be displaced rather than trip
up the dog in the air and possibly cause it to land wrong.
Agility Competitors and judges are dog lovers, so don't
worry about your dog getting hurt. If you follow proper
training and competition methods in Agility Training and
Trials your dog will only grow stronger and become more
fulfilled in its dogginess.

Every obstacle that a dog is required to climb has a contact
area painted on the equipment. If the dog places more than
one paw out of these zones as it climbs the dog and the
handler will be penalized. These areas and penalties enforce
that an owner has properly trained the dog to go through the
obstacle course correctly and safely and without cutting
corners per se. This is for the safety of the dogs, so that
no injuries occur on the course. All of these contact areas
are treated so that even should they get wet or dusty there
will be no slippage on the equipment.

Here is a list of different equipment you may encounter in a
dog agility contest:

- A-Frame
- Broad Jump
- Chute
- Dog Walk
- Double Jump
- Jumps
- Panel Jump
- Pause Table
- Standard Jump
- Teeter
- Tire Jump
- Tunnel & Chute
- Weave Poles
- Winged Jump

The picture in the middle of the page is Duncan, a Border Collie Rescue
who now competes in both USDAA and NADAC agility. Please visit
Duncan's home page where you can see more pictures and read more about agility

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Bae Li likes it when her parents take her to the
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for the whole family.

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