How does the agility ring work in competition?

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The agility ring is the actual space that the competition takes place. All of the obstacles are set up within the agility ring, which may also be called the agility field. There are certain rules about what can and cannot take place within the ring, and these rules vary based on which organization is hosting the competition. In general, the agility ring is where a dog will exhibit his ability to successfully complete the course with speed and accuracy.

The agility ring or agility field is generally 100 feet on each side, but the exact size varies in different competitions. The surface of the agility ring must be level and grassy, or made up of another surface conducive to running for dogs. The agility ring must have enough room around it for many dogs and handlers to wait for their turn in the competition, as well as allow for room for practice and last minute preparations.

Handlers and dogs can be penalized for actions in the agility ring that are not permitted. Some of these actions include a dog repeating an obstacle, eliminating in the agility ring, leaving the agility ring, being in the ring with a collar on, or the presence of food or toys within the ring. Each governing board comes up with their own set of rules for what is and is not allowed within the agility ring.

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