Dog agility trials are the ultimate goal of any competitive agility training. This section includes information on agility trials and competitions and specifics on dog agility courses that can help you to prepare for competition, if that is what you have in mind. Since competition can be tough, the more prepared you are, the better off you'll be, so you'll want to take the information in this section seriously.
Of course, agility training can always just be for fun or to help sharpen your ability to communicate with your dog; there's nothing wrong with that and it can actually be quite beneficial. But agility isn't considered a sport for nothing and like any sport there are several levels of competition that you and your dog can engage in if you want to take your training to the next level.
One of the best ways of learning about the competitive side of agility is by checking into organizations like the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) or the American Kennel Club (AKC). Each of these organizations sponsors competitions on the local, national and even international level so that you can be as competitive as you want to be. Each one can give you information on dog agility trials and other events so that you can get in on the ground level of the sport.
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Time spent with your dog using positive training methods will help develop better communication and a deeper bond.
Even if you don't compete initially, attending and watching one of these events can be quite educational, so finding information on events in your area is a great place to start. Then you can watch other dogs and trainers going through the paces and get a better idea of exactly what is involved and whether it's something you and your dog would be able to handle.
If you do decide to try your hand at a dog agility competition, you'll find pages here about various types of competitions, from agility certification trials to competitive tournaments. Certification trials are designed to test each competing pair's level of expertise in training and handling. Depending upon how well you do, you can earn various levels of certification, from beginning to advanced to master.
The next step beyond dog agility trials is head to head competition. Each of the main agility organizations has a variety of tournaments that pit the best of dog/handler pairs against each other in an attempt to earn not only prestigious titles but also some very serious cash prizes. Showing off your agility skills and stirring up your competitive juices can be a real thrill for some dog owners, so if this sounds like your kind of thing, there are plenty of opportunities for you.
Because breaking into the sport of dog agility can be daunting, this section offers invaluable resources, not only in terms of finding competitive arenas but also for learning about the kind of dog agility course layouts you're likely to face in competition so that you can be better prepared. The more you know, the more successful you're likely to be once you hit the competition circuit.
If agility competitions and dog agility trials sound interesting to you, check out everything this section has to offer and see if you're really ready to become an agility pro.