Dog agility is a competitive dog sport in which a team of dog and handler must complete an obstacle course and are judged on time and accuracy. The sport made its debut at the Crufts Dog Show in England in February 1978. Since then it has gained popularity across the world.
To compete dogs must be in good health and be at least 6 (UKC) or 12 months (AKC) of age to compete. Many organizations have special classes for older dogs, with lower jumps and longer course time, making it possible for dogs of all ages to compete. Both purebred and mixed breed dogs can compete in agility trials, with the exception of trails held by the AKC. They restrict trials to AKC-registered dogs only. However, if your dog is a pure bred, just without papers, you can apply for PAL/ILP (Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege) which will enable you to enter AKC sanctioned trials.
Agility is fun for both dogs and handlers. It's a great activity to do with a newly adopted dog, or a shy puppy. It builds confidence and provides obedience and socialization training in a fun setting. Agility is great exercise and builds a stronger bond between the dog and the handler.
Popular agility organizations: