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.
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
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
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.
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.