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.