Agility Beginner's Faq's

What is Agility?Agility is a popular fun and fast paced sport for you and your dog. The dog and handler team maneuver through a course containing a series of numbered obstacles including an A-frame, Dog Walk, Teeter (Seesaw) Weave Poles, Jumps and Tunnels. The handler provides direction through body motion, position, and other elements of handling. The emphasis is on speed and accuracy, completing the course as quickly and without errors. Agility builds a bonded relationship between handler and dog based on clear communication and trust through teamwork.

Do I need to have done basic training classes before doing agility?
Yes. Your dog should have solid basic skills such as attention and focus, sit, down, stay, walking on leash, a release cue, basic targeting skills, recall, and be able to work off leash around other dogs in a class environment. We recommend dogs take both Basic Manners Level 1 and 2, and at least two of Advanced Manners, Dog Sports Fundamentals, or Your Training Toolbox before beginning agility training.


How old does my dog need to be to start agility? 
In general, we recommend dogs be at least 10 months of age before joining an Agility Foundations 1 class. Young dogs can learn many important skills for agility without being introduced to any of the obstacles; we occasionally offer an Agile Pups class for younger dogs preparing for agility training. Puppies and young dogs should not jump full height (only lower than elbow), perform full height obstacles or weave until growing is complete, typically around 15-18 months.  Older dogs need to be physically healthy and at a proper weight for athletic training.

Do I have to want to compete in agility to participate in classes? 
No. Many students begin agility classes just to do a fun activity with their dogs. Some get bitten by the bug and go on to enjoy competing in agility trials. Whether your goal is to compete at high levels or be the “class champion” simply enjoying a fun activity with your dog in class, or anything in between, Agility Foundations at DTCCC will give you and your dog the skills you need to have fun and be successful in a safe and rewarding way.

Do I need to practice at home?
 Yes, the more you can practice what you learn in class, the faster you will build and strengthen the skills you and your dog will need to participate safely and successfully in agility especially at the early Foundations level of training. Many skills do not require special equipment. Some exercises can also be taught using items that you have around the house; your instructor will tell you about this.

I'm new to agility. How do I get started?
 First, take your dog to the classes mentioned above! Basic Manners Level 1 and 2, Advanced Manners, Dog Sports Fundamentals. Not only will your dog have class room experience and be better prepared for agility foundation training, but you, as a trainer, will also have gained some very important training skills. This preparation prior to attending the first Agility Foundations class is key to success with agility training.

There is an Agility Foundations Readiness Assessment given to all students prior to the First Foundations class. http://www.dtccc.org/Docs%202014/Agility%20Foundations%20Readiness%20Assessment.rev.pdf

I've started agility with another organization.
 For dogs that have had previous agility training, please contact the agility class registrar for recommendations on the appropriate class. Email: agilityinfo@dtccc.org

For more information and/or to register for an agility class: 

Email: agilityinfo@dtccc.org  or call 610-280-6960




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