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Any dog can enjoy agility with a little training

That’s right. Any dog with reasonably good physical condition and disposition can enjoy the sport of dog agility with a little training.  The only pre-requisite is basic obedience training. Having a good “come”, sit, down and stay will make the training much more productive and enjoyable.  Being able to leave your dog in a stay and in a distracted environment and call them to you about 6 feet away is a good test of this ability.  Also knowing what treats and toys your dog likes the best will help them focus in class.

Please note we do not accept reactive dogs in class.  Please work with a behaviorist on any issues before joining a class.

The Columbia Agility Team offers training

The Columbia Agility Team offers agility classes from Foundation through Competition classes at its practice barns in Aurora and Helvetia.

Junior Handlers USDAA CAT Trial June 2016 (1 of 1)



Spring 2017 Class Schedule

Registration for CAT’s Spring Classes are open now.   Please click HERE to view the Spring Registration form, print and send it in with your check for class registration.

Please note that each new dog must start with a Foundation class unless they have prior agility experience and approval from the training director.

The next session of classes after these will start in April. Please contact the training director if you are interested in being on the list for the next registration.  You can use the current registration schedule for sample dates and times we commonly use for classes.

Contact the Training Director using THIS FORM

* Auditing spots available

Agility Foundation

is for any dog who has not had prior agility training.  Dogs must have had basic obedience training in a class setting and be able to sit, down, stay and recall consistently before starting Foundation. This class will introduce the dog and handler to agility equipment and handling skills on the flat. Students taking class with CAT for the first time must start with a foundation class.

If you have had prior agility training please click HERE to contact the training director and discuss which class level will fit you and your dog best.

Next Steps

After Foundation the next level is Next Steps then Beginning one and Beginning 2.  When you are entered in trials and competing you can enter the competition classes for more course experience.


The Columbia Agility Team and other organizations sometimes sponsor seminars given by well-known agility instructors/competitors.  These are listed on the calendar page.

Other trainers

Other training opportunities are available from individual instructors.  They typically offer group and individual instruction at various times and locations in the Portland area.  For a list of other trainers click here.

Practice Barns



Practice makes perfect — or at least better.  The Columbia Agility Team currently has two practice/training facilities that are available for open practice for club members and for individual or group practice sessions and is searching for a third.  The barns have a full complement of agility equipment.  We don’t advertise the location of the barns.  If you are a member and need directions, CONTACT US.

The Aurora Barn

The CAT Aurora practice barn is available for “drop-in” club practice sessions Friday evenings from 7 PM to 9 PM and Sunday afternoons from 3 PM to 4:30 PM for beginning dogs, 4:30 to 6PM for advanced dogs.  Cost is $3 per dog, $5 for two. The barn can be rented by CAT members for individual or group training sessions at other times (unless the Barn is being used for CAT Classes) for $35 a month for one hour per week. You MUST sign up on the Drop-in Calendar.  Contact the Barn Equipment Manager or the Scheduling Coordinator HERE. Here is the Current Barn Schedule.

The Helvetia Barn

The Helvetia Barn is open for business.  Here is the Current Barn Schedule.  Blank Periods available for rental. The Barn Scheduling Coordinator for the Helvetia Barn is Edith Mahoney. You MUST sign up on the Drop-In Calendar BEFORE you use the barn.  The barn may be rented by CAT members at times the barn is not being used for classes for $35 per month for one hour per week. You must pay the fee at the time you use the barn.  If you are paying with cash or CAT Bucks, please attach a note with your name. Contact the Barn Equipment Manager, Jody Becher, or the Barn Scheduling Coordinator, Edith Mahoney, HERE.

Observe the Barn Rules

Having daily use of the barns for practice and classes is one of the major benefits of CAT membership.  To make sure that we are able to maintain the use of the barn, we must make sure we observe the Barn rules. In general, the rules are:

These rules and guidelines are for the safety of both dogs and handlers.

1. ONLY Columbia Agility Club members are allowed to run dogs within the barn. The only exceptions are students participating in a CAT agility class.

2. UNLESS your dog is on the course, it shall be confined to a crate or x-pen, or under physical control by a lead.  DO NOT LET YOUR DOG OFF LEAD OUTSIDE THE BARN.  Please monitor your dog to make sure you pick up after them when in the barn as well as outside.

3. ONLY ONE dog may be run on the course at a time. During warm-ups more than one dog may be on the course providing all dogs are on lead.

4. THE COURSE DESIGN will be at the discretion of the participants.  Please make sure all standard equipment is left out for the next participant and any non-standard equipment (channel weaves, adjustable teeter, broad jump etc.) is put away neatly.

5. DOG FECAL material must be picked up and bagged and left in the trash can by the porta potty at both the Helvetia and Aurora barns. DO NOT place plastic bags in the Porta Potty. Handlers must spray any soiled areas inside the barn with the disinfectant spray bottle of Nature’s Miracle or like enzyme remover provided. Please do not leave food treats and material in the arena grounds.

6. NO FEMALE DOGS IN HEAT are permitted within the barn area, or in the parking area at any time.

7. Please promptly report ALL incidents involving any injury to persons or animals, or property damage, to the Barn Equipment Manager.

Specific Rules for the Helvetia Barn as of December 2015 are here, even though it says Germantown on the top of the document.

The CAT Library

There are many other resources to help you in training.  Books and DVDs, for example.  CAT maintains a library on agility and other dog related items.  These resources are available to CAT members to check out. You can browse the library holdings. (requires free Adobe Reader) If you wish to check something out, contact the librarian.

There is also a monthly magazine, Clean Run, that offers lots of tips and training exercises for both the novice and the experienced competitor. Clean Run also has a number of training manuals and other training and trial equipment that you can order.  You can subscribe to the magazine and purchase agility goodies at

There’s more, but this should get you started. If you know of another agility book or other resource you’ve found particularly helpful, contact the librarian and we’ll try to add it to the library.