Learning agility is fun.  Competition is FUN!!!!

You and your dog will enjoy learning and practicing agility together.  But there’s nothing like the extra excitement of competition.  You get to test your handling skills and the speed and accuracy of your dog against the clock and against other dog/handler teams in your dog’s size, age and experience class.

Several flavors of agility

There are several different organizations that sanction dog agility competitions in the Northwest.  They are:

  • The North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC)
  • The United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA)
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC)
  • Canine Performance Event (CPE)
  • UKI Agility International (UKI)
  • Teacup Agility (TDAA)

Agility competition is for all sizes of dogs.  Jump heights are adjusted to suit the size and age of the dog as are the standard course times (the time standard for completing the course for a qualifying run).  There are some differences, depending on the sanctioning organization.  Please refer to the organizations’ web sites.

Different levels of competition

As you compete, you and your dog move up the ladder in difficulty.  Again, levels and the standards for the different levels of competition vary slightly among the organizations.  For NADAC/USDAA, the levels are defined as follows: 

  • Novice/Starters or Novice— primarily tests the ability of the dog to perform the obstacles safely at a moderate rate of speed.
  • Open/Advanced— the goal is to test the handler’s and the dog’s ability to perform the obstacles at a faster rate of speed while performing the obstacles with more directional and distance control and exhibiting obstacle discrimination.  The course should encourage handlers to work the dogs from both sides.
  • Elite/Masters— more complex handler strategies are tested with the dog moving at a brisker pace.  The course design should encourage the handler to work the dog from both sides of the handler.  The dog should be able to discriminate between obstacles and freely move away from the handler while performing the obstacles with greater distance and directional control.

There are also separate division for those who, for whatever reason, do not wish to jump their dogs at the full heights.

There are national and international championships that you can qualify to compete in.

Columbia Agility Team sponsors competitions

CAT sponsors two NADAC, two CPE and two USDAA competitions in the Portland area each year.  See the Calendar for the date and location and information for registering.  CAT also helps AKC put on a major agility meet each year a puts on some informal fun matches and IAL trials when time allows.

If those aren’t enough for you (they won’t be), there are also meets sponsored by the Willamette Agility Group (WAG) in the Eugene/Corvallis/Salem area, Rogue Canine Agility (RCA) in southern Oregon, Rainier Agility Team (RAT) in the Seattle/Tacoma area,  and Bend Agility Action Dogs (BAAD) in Bend.  Events and contacts are listed in the Calendar.