Dog Agility South Africa

Agility dogs competition

Source: Agility Training

What Exactly is Dog Agility?

Agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through an obstacle in a race for time and accuracy. Dogs run off leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog nor obstacles. Consequently the handler’s controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals, requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.

In its simplest form, an agility course consists of a set of standard obstacles laid out by a judge in a design of his or her own choosing in an area of a specified size. The surface may be of grass, dirt, rubber, or special matting. Depending on the type of competition, the obstacles may be marked with numbers indicating the order in which they must be completed.

Courses are complicated enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without human direction. In competition, the handler must assess the course, decide on handling strategies, and direct the dog through the course, with precision and speed equally important. Many strategies exist to compensate for the difference in human and dog speeds and the strengths and weaknesses of the various dogs and handlers.

Source: Dog Agility

There are various types of obstacles involved in agility, such as the A-frame, teeter totter and tunnel.

A frame A-Frame

Two broad frames that are hinged together and  then raised. The dog must run up the one side, and  down the other

 

Source: Doggy Jumps

teeter totter Teeter Totter

A plank pivoting on a fulcrum, much like a  seesaw. It is constructed slightly off balance  so the same side always returns to the  ground. The balance point and the weight of  the plank must be such that even a very small  dog is able to push down the weighted end  within a reasonable amount of time

 

 

Source: PSLRA

Agility Fotos - Turnierfotos Tunnel

A vinyl tube through which the dog runs. The  tunnel is made of vinyl and wire, and is  therefore flexible enough to be placed in  different configurations. It can either be  configured in a straight line or a variety of  curves

Source: Agility Tunnel

These are only a few of the obstacles that are participated in for agility. There are various other activities that involve things such as jumping and weaving. Dog agility South Africa is fast becoming a popular sport; it is a lot of fun for both the owner and dog, and is very good for bonding and fitness.

An image of what an entire agility course might look like

An image of what an entire agility course might look like

Source: Dog Park Product

To find out more about dog agility South Africa, and to find a club near you, have a look at SADAA – South African Dog Agility Association here.

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