What is canine agility?

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Canine agility is a test of a dog’s ability to maneuver through obstacles with speed and accuracy. An obstacle course is set up with a variety of obstacles to challenge a dog and the dog handler. Dogs compete off-leash with a handler guiding them through the obstacles without food rewards or any other incentives. Canine agility is a test of obedience and the owner-dog bond.

The complexity of the obstacle courses may differ, but most often there are obstacles that include tunnels, ramps, serpentine obstacles and jumps. The course should be challenging enough that a dog needs a handler to guide them, but not too challenging to prevent dogs from completing the majority of the obstacles successfully. Canine agility competitions judge based on speed and accuracy.

Some of the most common obstacles are the A-Frame ramps, the dog walk, the teeter-totter, the crossover, tunnels, and jumps and hurdles. Obstacles are designed in such a way that most dog breeds can comfortable maneuver on the course. Other obstacles that may be found in agility training include a pause table or a pause table. This tests a dog’s ability to listen and obey the handler.

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