When it comes to dog training, agility is one of the main aspects that are greatly considered. Agility is a dog sport in which a handler and her dog run as a team through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. The goal in any dog agility competition is to execute each piece of equipment correctly without any disqualifications. There are several national and international agility organizations with each having its own regulations and standards for its agility equipment.
Basically, an agility course is rather like an obstacle course with standard elements that each dog must pass through in order to complete the run and receive a qualifying score. If a single element is missed, the team is disqualified. This course consists of jumps, hoops and obstacles that you can set up for yourself. You can visit your local pet shop for this equipment. The basic elements of dog agility equipment are:
- The Weave Poles are a series of thin poles attached to a straight plank base.
- The A Frame is a ramp with a strong incline and equal decline. A-frame is painted a bright color, usually yellow, forming the contact zone, onto which the dog must place at least one paw while ascending and descending.
- The Dog Walk is another type of ramp. The two end planks form ramps leading up to and down from the center plank.
- The Teeter is a long plank on a fulcrum that each dog must mount at one end and walk across to the other end.
- The Tunnel is a long tube each dog must run through. The tunnel is constructed of flexible vinyl and wire, such that it can be configured in a straight line, or in a variety of curves.
- The Chute is similar to the tube at the entry point, but the rest of the chute is simply nylon without the hoops to support it, so dog are basically running blind through this element.
- Jumps are the same as you would find at an obedience trial, and the pole height is set according to the size of the dog.
- The Tire is suspended on a frame and each dog must jump through it on its way around the course.
Please also check out our other guide on Dog Agility Equipment, Dog Training Clickers and Dog Agility Training
Yusuf has begun written about Dog Agility Equipment several years ago. You also may check out his other guide on Dog Training Clicker Training tips and Dog Agility Tunnels guide.