Dog agility is a sport which consists of an obstacle course inspired by the equestrian path in which
the dog must complete the course in the expected order without penalty and in the shortest time
In this race the handler must follow the dog, communicating and giving him commands while running along the way.
This discipline implies a good harmony between the dog and its handler that leads to perfect understanding between the two: it is therefore necessary that the participants have the basic skills of education and obedience.
Dogs are divided into three categories according to their height. Each category has its own obstacle height, but the course is the same for all.
All dogs of both breed and half-breed can attend the race. The route consists in obstacles which according to their position on the ground will be the characteristic of the track, making it more or less difficult.
In Dog Agility there are four levels: Patent Agility beginners, Patent Agility 1, Patent Agility 2 and Patent Agility 3.
Each dog starts from the beginners patent, to rise to the upper level during his career, it is necessary to obtain from 3 to a maximum of 5 results of excellent in the official tests of ENCI for Agility. To rise from patent 1 to patent 2 it is necessary to obtain three excellent results. To rise from patent 2 to patent 3 it is necessary to reach three podiums obtained with excellent results. Agility 3 is the most difficult class, it’s the one that allows the best to participate in the national championship and to enter in the Italian selection. In patent 3 you need a clear round, speed and accuracy.
The handler is the one who leads the dog during the match, indicating, through the use of voice and arms, the right combination to finish the race without penalty.
The handler part is not easy at all: in fact, in most cases, at a race level, the conductor causes the dog to make mistakes. Maybe a wrong arm movement, having the chest bent in an incorrect position or even a wrong command given on the obstacles. The handler must always be one step ahead of the dog.
Each dog has a different style of running and facing obstacles: for example in a curve some dogs are able to bend in a very narrow radius while others need more space. In every case the handler must use the right compromise to get the dog on the right path.
Agility should be considered as a team sport, whose team is composed of two elements, the dog and his handler in perfect symbiosis.