What is the proper etiquette for spectators at a dog agility competition?

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Dog agility competitions can be an exciting time for spectators, particularly if the spectator knows one of the dogs competing. These competitions are full of energy, as dogs compete to finish obstacle courses with the fastest time and more accurate run. With dogs sprinting, jumping, leaping and weaving, the natural reaction of spectators would be to cheer loudly and applaud the dogs as they compete. However, proper etiquette for spectators at an agility competition is to remain quiet during the runs and save applause to the end of each dog’s run.

The reason that it is proper etiquette to remain quiet during a run is to limit the number of distractions for the dog as he competes. Cheering, shouting and clapping could all be considered distractions for a competing dog. Dogs competing in agility competitions not only get scored based on how quickly they complete a course, but also based on how accurately they complete the course. If a dog cannot hear the handler giving directions, or gets distracted and misses an obstacle, it could negatively affect his overall score.

After a dog completes a run is the appropriate time to cheer and clap competition. Dogs will be encouraged by the support, and the handler will appreciate the gesture as well. While it may be hard to contain excitement for a dog who is doing very well in the competition, it will benefit the dogs more to remain silent as they compete.

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