Hurling over jumps, running through tunnels, dodging weave poles, negotiating see-saws - do these sound like things your dog might enjoy? Then your pet might love dog agility training. Inspired by equestrian events, agility training for dogs started in the late 1970's in Great Britain. It's a great sport for both dogs and their owners as the team up to negotiate a course of obstacles and is a true test of your dogs training as he will have to listen to commands in order to run the course.
If you want to start your dog in agility training he must be at least 9 months old to be assured that his growth plates have closed and in order to prevent injury. Your pet with start with dog agility training and must be able to clear the jump heights of his assigned division before he can compete. He'll first be put in the 'starter' division; which is the division for dogs that do not hold agility titles. When he makes it through a round here he earns his 'starter' title and is now qualified to compete at the advanced agility level.
The next title your dog can earn is the "Advanced Title" which he can take when he clears three rounds as judged by 2 different judges. Once he gets his Advanced Title, he can compete in the masters classes. Earning a "Masters Title" is a bit more difficult and consists of a 6 part qualification process along with three successfully completed games courses. Although a fun sport for both you and your dog, dog agility training is also a serious competition that is well organized and has many guidelines and regulations. Dogs are placed in divisions based on their size.
The mini division consists of dogs between sixteen and twenty-one inches from the shoulder. These dogs have jump heights that are 12, 18 and 24 inches. The larger dogs that measure over twenty one inches at the shoulders are sorted into the open division where they will jump heights of 26, 28 and 30 inches. Dog agility training competition is a serious and well organized sport with many guidelines and regulations. The two divisions in the competition are based on the dog's size. A dog between sixteen and twenty-one inches from the shoulder is put in the mini division.
Not every dog can win the coveted "Master" title, but I don't think they really care because to them the fun is in the sport. Dog agility training is a great way for both man and beast to enjoy a little fun competition as well as each others company.
Lee Dobbins writes for Train The Dog where you can get great dog training tips for every breed.