Agility is a new dog sport rapidly gaining in popularity. Developed in Britain, it was loosely modeled after equestrian show jumping. To compete, each dog is required to navigate an obstacle course under the direction of its handler within a set time and with a minimum of faults. The set of obstacles includes jumps, tunnels, ramps, catwalks (renamed dogwalks), teeter totters, and a series of upright poles that the dogs must weave through slalom style!  Every course is unique. A dog never runs the same course twice.

Agility is an excellent training/bonding activity for Whippets and their owners. Whippets enjoy testing their agility, coordination, and speed while navigating the course.

There are Agility sanctioning organizations in many places around the world. In North America there are five main organizations that sanction Agility trials. Each offers a variety of titles for various levels of achievement. The five North American organizations are:

United States Dog Agility Association - USDAA
Agility Association of Canada - AAC
North American Dog Agility Council, Inc. - NADAC
American Kennel Club - AKC
United Kennel Club - UKC

USDAA and AAC trials are run under international style rules which are generally considered the most physically demanding of the dog. A fit healthy Whippet should be able to compete under any organization. In addition to standard Agility courses, the USDAA, AAC, and NADAC offer special categories for Veteran (older) dogs and Junior (child) handlers, as well as strategic agility games. All five organizations allow neutered dogs and dogs with breed disqualifications to compete for titles. All except the AKC allow mixed breed dogs to compete. To compete with the AKC a dog must be registered with the AKC or a foreign equivalent.

Text Copyright Nancy Bennet

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