Agility is a sport in which dogs are directed through a course of different obstacles by a handler. The course is set by a judge and the dog and handler must complete the course and negotiate each obstacle correctly in a given time also set by the judge.

The winner is the dog / handler team that completes the course correctly in the fastest time.

This sport requires a great working partnership between dog and handler and can be very exciting as teams negotiate courses. All breeds of dog, including cross breeds, can compete in this sport but dogs should have a basic level of obedience and be of sound fitness. It is particularly suited, but certainly not restricted, to the working breeds such as border collies and kelpies. It requires a high level of training but can be a very rewarding activity for both the dog and handler.

Obstacles along the course include jumping over bars and through tyres, climbing ramps and see-saws, crawling through tunnels, running across platforms and weaving through poles.

There are separate Jumping competitions that also include only jumping hurdles, tyres and tunnels.

There are also several Agility games including Snooker, so named because the dog can attempt the obstacles in any order the hander chooses; Gamblers, which requires the dog to complete the course at quite a distance from the handler; and Strategic Pairs which includes two relay teams.

All Agility and Jumping trials and games are extremely entertaining spectator sports, but please do leave your own dog at home for this day so as not to distract the competitors. If you are interested in getting your dog involved in Agility, please contact DOGS Victoria for details on your nearest club.