unnamedWhat is agility?

Agility is one of the fastest growing performance sport for dogs.  

This fun sport has the handler directing their dog through a numbered obstacle course for both time and accuracy. The handler controls the dog by their voice, movement and body signals. This requires exceptional training for both dog and handler. Agility is a sport that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and plenty of exercise.

 GTCGRC and Agility

In 2003 the GTCGRC held their first agility trial. Since then, the club now holds three licensed AKC agility trials a year; one in January, one in August, and one in October. Each trial is three days long and in an indoor facility.

 Different types of classes

The standard class contains all contact obstacles (A-frame, dogwalk, teeter, and table) and dogs must touch the yellow “contact zone” with at least one foot in the zone in order not to be faulted. This class also contains various jumps, weave poles, tunnels, and chute.

Jumpers with Weaves class does not contain any of the contact obstacles to slow down the team’s forward momentum. This is a very fast course and demonstrates the dog’s speed and jumping ability.

Fifteen and Send Time (FAST) is an additional test of strategy, skill, accuracy, speed, timing and distance handling.

Time 2 Beat (T2B) challenges the handler and dog on speed and accuracy.

 Levels of Competition

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Novice – for all dogs starting their career in agility. There are 14 to 16 obstacles on this course and focuses on performing minimal handler techniques.

Open – for dogs that completed the Novice level. There are 16 to 18 obstacles on this course and requires more handling skills.

Excellent – for dogs that complete the Open level. There are 18 to 20 obstacles on this course and requires superior skills for both dogs and handlers.

Masters – for dogs that completed the Excellent level. This class is for dogs that are working towards their Master Agility Champion (MACH) or Preferred Agility Champion (PACH) title.

 Jump Heights

8” class – dogs up to 11” at the shoulder

12” class – dogs over 11” and up to 14” at the shoulder

16” class – dogs over 14” and up to 18” at the shoulder

20” class – dogs over 18” and up to 22” at the shoulder

24” class – dogs over 22” at the shoulder

26” class – dogs may be entered at this height at their owner’s discretion.

Preferred Class – this class is an opportunity for dogs and handlers participate in agility at a lower height. For example, if a dog was measured to compete in the 24” class, their preferred class would be 20”.

 How it is scored

A perfect score in any level of agility is 100. A dog must earn a certain amount of qualifying scores (depending on the level) under at least two different judges. The minimum score to qualify is 85 except in the Master class where the dogs must have a perfect score of 100 to qualify. Each course has a maximum course time. For every second that the dog is over time one point is taken off.


Standard Class Qualifying Scores Required JWW Class Qualifying Scores Required Scores Obtained From
NA or NAP 3 NAJ or NJP 3 Novice A/B class
OA or OAP 3 OAJ or OJP 3 Open class
AX or AXP 3 AXJ or AXP 3 Excellent
MX or MXP 10 MXJ or MJP 10 Master

To obtain the Master Agility Champion (MACH) title or a Preferred Agility Champion (PACH), a dog must be competing in both Master Standard and Jumpers classes. A dog must achieve a minimum of 750 points and 20 double qualifying scores.

Points – one point is awarded for each full second under the standard course time

Double Qualify Score – a dog qualifying in both standard and jumpers in the same day.

adapted from www.akc.org

Please check out our links page to find the nearest training facility for agility classes.

Check out the events page for information of our upcoming agility events.