Eden Hill Dog Fellowship

One Sport to Rule Them All

Where Did Agility Come From?

The sport of agility orginated in London, England in February 1978.  It was first seen at the very prestigeous english dog show, Crufts.  To understand how the idea of agility was first developed, we need to take a look at a year earlier during the 1977 Cruft's Dog Show.

A man by the name of John Varley who happened to be a member of the Cruft's Show Committee, was asked to organise some sort of fun entertainment for the main arena.  The idea of this entertainment, was to capture the public's attention during the break between the obedience championship and group judging.

Apparently, John's main interest was with horses and not dogs.  Using the horse showjumping concept as a basis, John came up with the idea of a canine version of showjumping whereby a dog would have to negotiate the obstacles instead of a horse.  As John's expertise wasn't with dogs, John went to his friend Peter Meanwell, a well known Working Trials competitor and judge to ask for help in developing the obstacles to be used in this event.  Rules were also developed based on Peter's knowledge of dogs.

The first public display was a brilliant success and the sport has evolved and spread world wide including Australia.

What is Agility?

As already mentioned above, agility has evolved with the sport of horse showjumping in mind.  In a nut shell, obstacle courses are set up whereby the dog needs to negotiate these courses in the quickest time with no faults in order to have a qualifying round.

In Australia, we currently have two associations conducting agility competitions, those being:

  • ADAA (Agility Dog Association of Australia Ltd)
  • ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council)

These competitions are broken down into agility classes, jumping classes and games classes.  Each class has a different level of standard where dogs can gain qualifications and work through the different levels.  Each association has their own set of regulations by they both start with very basic classes through to very advanced classes for the more experienced handlers and dogs.

What makes an Agility Event Different from a Jumping Event?

 An agility and games event course can be made up of the following list of equipment:

  • A Frame
  • Dog Walk
  • See-Saw
  • Flexi Tunnel
  • Hurdle Jumps
  • Spread
  • Broad Jump
  • Weavers

Some of this equipment is mandatory in a course, others pieces are option depending on which class you are competing in.

Jumping courses only use the following equipment in their courses:

  • Flexi Tunnel
  • Hurdle Jumps
  • Spread
  • Broad Jump

The exception to this is an open jumping class which also has the weavers.  All ADAA classes have weavers in their courses except Elementary jumping classes.

General Information

All courses have a Standard Course Time ("SCT") set by the judge, and the run rates are determined by the classes.  The higher the class the faster the standard course time generally will be.  In order to gain a qualifying round, dogs competing must negotiate the course clear of faults within the SCT.

To compete in ANKC trials in Western Australia, you must be a member of the Canine Association of WA (Dogs West) and your dog must also be registered with them.  See our link section to access their website.