Agility is a sport in which a handler is given a set amount of time in which to direct a dog, off-leash, through an obstacle course. 



The obstacles used in agility have been designed with both safety and spectator appeal in mind. All jumps have easily displaceable bars so that the dog should not experience injury should he misjudge and take down a bar. All obstacles that the dog must physically scale have 'contact' zones painted on the equipment; these contact zones enforce safe training techniques since handlers know that dogs will be faulted unless one or more feet are in the contact zones when ascending/descending these contact obstacles. All contact equipment surfaces are roughened for good traction in both dry and wet weather. 


The rules are fairly simple. Handlers may give an unlimited number of commands or signals to their dogs, but may not touch either the equipment or the dog. Dogs are 'faulted' for actions such as taking down a jump bar, failing to put one or more feet in the safety or contact zone when ascending/descending contact equipment, taking obstacles out of sequence, and running past or stopping before the next obstacle to be performed. Time penalties are additionally assessed against dogs that exceed the standard course time.

The sport was patterned after equestrian events that combine handler control, agility, and confidence. The sport of agility is comprised of a course set up of many different obstacles. Agility is meant to be a fun, non-regimented sport, with a lot of spectator appeal. Obstacles include jumps, tunnels, a dog walk, a see-saw or teeter, an A-frame and weave poles. 

But don't think that Agility is just about competition. Agility is fun. Dogs enjoy the freedom, speed and challenge. Owners enjoy the increased bond with the dog as they work together to master each obstacle.

Dogs gain confidence in their abilities as they learn to climb, jump, or crawl through agility obstacles. There's no pressure with agility -- it's pure joy. Dogs can participate for years as long as they stay in shape.