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International Agility

You and your Boxer can participate in an agility event along with the rest of the world.  A club or group near you may offer International Agility Link.  

From the IAL Website: "The concept was fostered by Nancy Gyes of San Jose, California, USA and Steve Drinkwater and Cathy Slot of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia".

"The basic concept is one of clubs from any country all competing on the exact same course over a set time frame and then comparing results". 

 

 

What is Agility?  |  The Obstacles  |  How do you start?
Finding a Trainer  |  Agility Organizations

What is Agility?
Gretchen from Gose BoxersAgility competitions involve a handler (the human member of the team) being given a set amount of time to negotiate with their dog around an obstacle course.  The dog must complete all the obstacles correctly, in the right order, off lead.  That's the very basics.  The Agility Judge sets the course and decides the time it should take to complete the course.

There are many different styles of agility and these styles offer many different types of events - jumping, games, pair and team events - something to suit every dog and handler team.

Agility will involve learning a new 'language' :)  Clean Run have compiled a list of agility terms to help you on the road to agility literacy. Agility terms can vary a great deal between countries but this is worth a read not matter where you and your Boxer live.

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The Obstacles (or articles / equipment) generally consist of the items below.  Click on the name of the obstacle too see a photo of a Boxer in action on that piece of agility equipment - the image will pop-up in a new window.

Jumps (of all varieties), Tunnels (cloth and pipe), Tyres (or tires), Dog Walks, A Frames, Weave Poles, Table and See-Saw.

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How do you start in Agility?
We'll assume that your Boxer has some basic manners and comes when called most of the time.  You can now set about finding an Agility group to join.  Clean Run has a club search that might be handy - many countries are listed. You could also try your local phone directory, classifieds, shelter, or contact your local governing body about training groups.  If you are unable to take part in classes then an online agility course might help - check out Helix Fairweather's Cyber Agility classes.  If you have a young dog or puppy you may find a trainer nearby who offers classes suitable for the age of your Boxer. 

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Finding a Trainer
How do you know if the trainer you want to sign up with is responsible and respectable?  This can be a tough call sometimes but your initial instinct may serve well.  Ask your vet if he or she can refer a trainer.  Go and observe a class or two before singing up - you want to see happy dogs getting heaps of rewards (food and toy), and people who look like they are having fun as well.  

Run away from any agility trainer who allows dogs on check chains on the agility course - flat collars, harnesses and head halters should be acceptable (as well as no collar, depending on the level of the class).  Make sure the trainer uses 'positive' methods, and demonstrates and understanding of what 'positive' is - clicker training is excellent!  Introduce your Boxer to the trainer and see if they like each other.  Sometimes excellent trainers may lack a little in people skills but don't discount them for this if your dog is happy.  Take a look at the agility equipment at the training facility.  Is it sturdy and well built?  Is it maintained?  The most important thing is to ensure that the trainer has the physical and emotional well being of your Boxer in mind at all times. 

A trainer does not have to be a 'Boxer' trainer (as nice as it would be), but they should have enough training skills, background with varied breeds, and knowledge about dogs, to help you train your Boxer in particular.

Want to learn more?  Visit the Agility Training section.

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Agility Organizations around the World
The links following go to the many different agility organisations or bodies and groups around the world, roughly sorted by region. Click on the name to visit the website.

USA: United States Dog Agility Association

USA: American Kennel Club

USA: North American Dog Agility Council

USA: United Kennel Club

USA: American Mixed Breed Obedience Register

USA: Just for Fun Agility

USA: Canine Performance Events

USA: Australian Shepherd Club of America
Canada: Agility Association of Canada

Canada: Canadian Kennel Club
United Kingdom: The Kennel Club

United Kingdom: The Agility Club
Scotland: The Scottish Kennel Club
Ireland: Irish Kennel Club
FCI Countries: Federation Cynologique International

Portugal: Clube Portuges de Canicultra

France: Commission Nationale Education Et Agility De La Societe Centrale Canine

Belgium: Agility Belgium

Russia: Agility Russia

Spain: Agility Spain

General Europe: Agility Links for Europe
Brazil: Agility News

South Africa: KZN Dog Athletic Association

Australia: Agility Dog Association Of Australia

Australia: Australian National Kennel Club

Australia: Australian Dog Agility Council

New Zealand: National Agility Link Association 

New Zealand: New Zealand Kennel Club

Japan: Japan Kennel Club

 

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Dog Agility is born in the UK

In 1977 John Varley (on the Cruft's Show Committee) had the task of organising fun events for the main arena during breaks in the official judging.  A horse man, John came up with the idea of a version of equestrian show jumping for dogs.

John worked with Peter Meanwell, a dog man - and judge and competitor in Working Trials - to develop a canine version of obstacles and Dog Agility began.

February 1978 saw the first public display at Crufts.  This was between two teams and was a gigantic success.  So much so that Dog Agility became the fastest growing dog sport in the world.

Read more about the History of Agility in an article by Steve Drinkwater.

Take a look at the very First Ever Agility Course at AgilityNet.