Dog Agility Training Contest Courses
A dog agility training course is built with several obstacles; the way they are placed determines the degree of difficulty and speed. The dog must complete the course within a predetermined time and the obstacles must be negotiated in the correct order.
1. General: The ring, required to build an agility course, must measure at least 30 m. x 40 m. Within this area the ring that the course will be built in must measure at least 20 m. x 40 m. When two rings are used, it is advisable to have a closed partition between them or a distance of about 10 m.
The actual length of the course will be between 100 m. and 200 m. and, depending on the class, will require a dog to traverse at least 12 obstacles but no more than 20, no less than 7 of them must be jumps (hurdles, wall, tyre). A standard competition set must contain at least 10 hurdles.
Spread jumps will have a maximum width: S: 30 cm.; M: 40 cm.; L: 55cm.
Combination jumps (maximum three hurdles counting as one obstacle) have a distance of minimum 4,50 m. and maximum 7 m. between them. These combination jumps can only consist of hurdles with poles.
The distance between two consecutive obstacles ranges from 5 m. to 7 m.
2. Course design: The design of the course is left entirely to the judge's imagination, but must change direction at least twice. Before the start of a competition the judge will inspect the obstacles put at his disposal and when they meet the necessary standard, he will hand over his course design to the organizing committee who will then set up the course. The judge will check the course and have the length measured precisely.
A well-designed course will allow the dog to go round easily and smoothly. The aim is to get the correct balance between the control over the dog, avoiding faults on the obstacles and the speed with which the course is negotiated. It is advisable to frequently change the design of the course and position of the obstacles in order to avoid any automation in the Dog Competition progress.