by Christina Wilkin
Welcome to the World of Agility . . . . . . Agility is F U N !!!!!!!!!!
At least that’s what they all said when we first started. Agility is certainly different to any of the other disciplines – especially when you see all the equipment. The original purpose of Agility was to test the animal’s fitness and the handler’s ability to train. So what is an agility course? An agility or jumping course consists of a maximum 20 obstacles including jumps, tunnels, known as pipe and cloth tunnels, tyre, long jump, weaves, table and, specific to the agility course, the ‘touch points’ – the ‘A’ frame, dog walk and see saw. These are the most common obstacles but other Kennel Club approved items also include Cross Over, Wishing Well, Brush fence and Water jump.
Over the months I will be showing and explaining how dog and handler together learn the art of agility and more excitingly how Keeshonds (and their handlers) adapt to this sport. Plus I will be explaining how Agility Tests differ from the world of showing. How height affects the Keeshonds range of classes at competition and the various class levels of ability – from mini, midi and standards and from Elementary through to Senior and championship status.
Agility is open to all types of dogs of all shapes and sizes, breed and non breed alike and the sport certainly does have a wide range of competing breeds. The first Agility demonstration was performed at Crufts in 1978 and in 2002 Championship status for Agility was achieved.
So join me on an exploration of the Agility World as a handler and trainer of Keeshonds.