Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Dog Agility

Dog agility is a canine sport in which dogs have to navigate through a course that has various types of obstacles, under the direction of a handler. The competition is a test for both, accuracy of following instructions, and time taken too complete the course. Is it a sport? Although many call it such, dog agility does not fit our definition of a sport.

In competitions, dogs have to run the course without a leash, and the handler is not allowed to use any incentives like toys or food getting the dog's attention. The handlers are also not allowed to touch the dog, touch the obstacle, or in any way aid the dogs. Their only role is to provide various voice, movement, and body signals.

A typical agility course consists of standard obstacles like tunnels, ramps, and hurdles. Some of the other obstacles commonly used are Weave Poles and Pause Table or Boxes. In some competitions the obstacles will be marked with numbers which indicates the order in they must be completed.

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The courses will be setup such that the dogs will not be able to complete them without directions from the handler. Each dog's run is judged based on precision and speed. Points are deducted based on various faults. The dog that commits the least number of faults is declared as the winner.

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Check out our Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport?

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