Agility sport for dogs

Agility sport for dogs

The dog sport agility originally comes from England, where it was developed in the 1970s based on riding tournaments. Agility is based on jumping competitions in which a defined obstacle course has to be completed in a certain time and as error-free as possible. The term “agility” means agility, agility or agility in English, which also describes the requirements for the dog in the sport of agility.

In the meantime, the discipline has become very popular in many countries; Competitions at club level as well as state and federal championships are also held regularly in Germany. A distinction is made between pure jumping competitions and mixed competitions with jumps and so-called contact zone devices, in which the four-legged participant must hit certain color-coded areas with his paws.

Obstacles in agility dog ​​sport

In agility, the dog has the task of completing a set course as error-free as possible and in a given time. He is guided by his human partner using body language and voice commands, but must not be touched by the leader.

The difficulty for the team in this sport lies in making rapid turns at high speed and at the same time communicating so precisely that pole drops and the non-entry of defined contact zones are avoided. The prescribed order and direction must also be observed when walking the course.

The obstacles in agility usually consist of 12-20 easy jumps, contact zone devices, a tunnel and a slalom section that the dog has to go through. The individual obstacles are kept relatively simple; the aim is rather to overcome them at a high speed without errors. The obstacles are set up differently in each competition, so that both the dog and the handler are required to act quickly and with foresight.

Which dogs are suitable for agility?

Basically, agility is suitable as a sport for all dogs that have no health problems. However, there are big differences between the individual races. While fast, agile dogs like Border Collies or Australian Shepherds cope particularly well with the requirements of agility, large and heavy animals are often overwhelmed by the rapid changes of direction and the high degree of mobility required. In addition, there is a tendency to joint problems in many large breeds, so that the stress on the joints during agility is too high for them in many cases.

Caution should be exercised in animals suffering from osteoarthritis, that is, excessive and often painful joint wear. It is absolutely not advisable to practice agility sport here, because the affected joints experience an additional high load due to the jumps. Dogs with obesity are also not suitable for agility. Due to the increased weight of the dog, the stress on the joints and the entire musculoskeletal system is also too high.

Leave a Reply