Featured Dogs

The first widely-documented appearance of dog agility was as entertainment at the Crufts dog show in 1978. John Varley, a committee member from the 1977 show, was tasked with coming up with entertainment for the audience between the obedience and conformation competitions in the main ring. Varley asked dog trainer Peter Meanwell for assistance, and they presented a largely jumping-style course resembling something from the equestrian world to demonstrate dogs' natural speed and agility. Many obstacles recognisable to modern handlers were already present at that demonstration, including the A-frame/tunnel combination, the tire, weave poles, collapsed tunnel and dogwalk.The demonstration immediately intrigued dog owners because of its speed and challenge and the dexterity displayed by the dogs. People wanted to see more, and indeed wanted their own dogs to be able to participate. The demonstration was so popular that it went on to grow into local, then national, and eventually international, competitions with standardized equipment.

In 1985, Kenneth Tatsch collaborated with his local obedience club and others, and began putting on all-breed exhibitions in Garland, Texas. A year later, he founded the United States Dog Agility Association USDAA and incorporated in January 1987 in Texas.In 1988, almost no one had heard of dog agility in the United States, while meanwhile in England it had become an extremely popular sport, drawing hundreds of spectators. By 1989, however, when the USDAA Grand Prix of Dog Agility was first filmed for TV, nearly 2000 spectators attended the final round. Just a year later, attendance neared 4000. The event's popularity sparked interest around the country, and in 1989, Tatsch expanded the tournament to include local qualifying events, hosted by groups formed by competitors in attendance at the Grand Prix the prior year in Texas.

The AKC's first agility advisory committee met in August 1993 and started the process of creating its own agility rules and standards. When the AKC entered the field, each competition had only one standard course.Sanctioning by the AKC made the rapidly growing sport nearly explode in the United States, as AKC handlers began exploring USDAA and NADAC competitions as ways to expand their agility experience. A few years later, AKC introduced its own version of the Jumpers course, which included weave poles as did the International rules but which NADAC and USDAA did not include.

Success Story:

Pete and MiaPete Acton and his Doberman, Mia, are a true success story for our club and our training program. Only slightly more than a year after their first lessons, this team have moved through all levels of training and all levels of AKC titles, recently including the Excellent level titles in both Standard and Jumpers classes.

Agility classes are open to all dogs, mixed breeds included, 9 months of age and older.
Dogs MUST be non-aggressive to other dogs and people.
Proof of rabies vaccine/titer is required.

Although formal obedience classes are not a prerequisite, dogs must be familiar with basic commands including sit, stay, down and come. Although the leash can be left on for some of the earlier exercises and levels, agility is an off-leash sport and we will progress to off-lead work as soon as possible.

In the event that a dog does not exhibit the basic training and behavior required to participate in the class level, the instructor reserves the right to deny participation in that class level. This decision will be made at the time of the first class in that level and the payment for that level will be returned at that time. The instructor will also make recommendations for other classes that can be taken to prepare the dog to re-enter that class at some time in the future.

Some classes will proceed at a faster or slower rate than the outline below. A dog-handler team will experience the most success by practicing at home on a daily basis what they have learned in class.

Obedience for Agility
This class will focus on basic obedience skills particular to the student of agility and will be taught in a positive, handler-dog relationship building manner. Motivating techniques for training and creating attention will be explored and practiced. Students will learn how to teach their dogs sit, down, stay, release, and come when called. Other practical skills that will be taught include touch, basic shadow handling, walking on the handler's left and right sides, go out/around, and stand/stay.

Please bring your dog's favorite toys and treats to the first class, along with water for both handler and dog.

Class length: 6 weeks and Cost: $85

Level I: Foundation for Agility
The very first in our series of classes is the foundation class. This class will teach dog and handler the foundation skills necessary for successful agility training. We will be concentrating on your relationship with your dog and through positive training methods we will build drive and motivation. You will begin learning basic handling techniques and your dog will be introduced to targeting, board work and low jumps.

Class length: 6 weeks and Cost: $85

Level II: Introduction To Obstacles
This class builds on the fundamentals taught in Level I and introduces the dog to all agility equipment. Emphasis will be placed on end behaviors for all contact obstacles.

Class length: 6 weeks and Cost: $85

Level III: Obstacles and Handling
This class will continue to build the dog's confidence on all the obstacles. Dogs in the class will be off leash. Handlers will be introduced to front and rear crosses and perform short sequences. Emphasis is placed on proper technique and placement of reward.

Class length: 6 weeks and Cost: $85

Prerequisite: Level II Agility class or equivalent approved by instructor.

Level IV: Building Handling Skills
Teams will work on handling skills including the front cross, rear cross, and basic course analysis. The class will also work on gradually increasing the number of obstacles you and your dog can complete in a sequence.

Prerequisite: Level III Agility class or equivalent approved by instructor.

Class length: 6 weeks and Cost: $85

Level V: Advanced Skills and Trial Prep
Teams will work on advanced course analysis, walking a course, different handling methods working up to running complete courses of 18 to 20 obstacles. Runs will be filmed and analyzed. Also covered will be entering a trial, what to bring, what to do to get ready for their first trial.

Prerequisite: Level IV Agility class or equivalent approved by instructor.

Class length: 6 weeks and Cost: $85

Level V: Advanced Practice (Run - Thru)
For those already competing or actively preparing for competition. Emphasis is placed on course analysis using both skill sets and full course run thrus.

Class length: Single sessions - Tuesday - Setup at 6:45 P.M. - $10 per session

Note: There is no agility run-thru the third Tuesday of each month due to the monthly club meeting.