Agility Training

Agility Training

Agility training or trialling is a team sport where you are in charge of the strategy and your dog is responsible for the athleticism.

Dog's leap over hurdles, power through tunnels, zip through a slalom of upright poles and scale ramps of different sizes. The aim is to find the balance between the control of the dog and the speed of the performance.

Scoring is based on faults, similar to equestrian show jumping.

A dog that completes the obstacles correctly within the set time will earn a Clear Round.

Here are some other ideas we have for people new to the idea of agility or wanting to join our "Agilities"

Agility as We Do it at Sutherland Shire Dog Training Club ....

Before you start Agility training

There are a few important things you should know about Agility;

  1. It is very addictive
  2. Agility is a fun sport and meant to be that way
  3. Your dog’s health and welfare are important to your instructors.
  4. Patience is a virtue, for both the handler and the dog
  5. Handlers and Dogs must walk before they can run (this is not an easy sport)

On the other side;

  1. Not all Dogs and / or their handlers, are suited for agility. Some dogs are just not interested in doing agility, keep this in mind.
  2. Dogs who are Over Weight, or have any Back, Hip, or Leg problems should seek Veterinary advice before doing agility.
  3. If your Dog has any health problems that could affect their training, this should be advised to your Training Instructor.
  4. If your dog is either Dog or People aggressive then agility is not for them.
Starting Agility Training

Our club takes on a new agility beginner class every 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the time of the year, there is no training over Christmas and New Year periods. If you need more information about when we train Click Here.

All Dogs must have a certain amount of obedience training i.e., to sit, drop or stay (seconds only) on command, be able to work off lead, to return to handler when called: - no matter what is going on at the time. These are necessary components to ensure you and other people are safe and have fun while training.

All beginners to the Agility beginners classe are on an Agility probation period which is determined at the time you finish the first class or two.

Age Limits

We train only Dogs over 18 months of age, as by this time all their bones should have finished growing (except for large dogs, this may take a little longer).
The reason we do this age limit is very simple – your dog may be jumping and running at home, but agility training puts a lot of pressure on both bone and muscle structure. Training, if over done on a young dog, could result in health problems in the future.

SSDTC Requirements

You have to join the club on a Sunday Morning and attend "Kindergarten"; at that time, you can ask you (or any) instructor about the agility intake times and who to speak to as there are several activities take part in and not all instructor do agility as their main point of training

Puppy Training is not available at our club – but some instructors who have done agility for many years will start to train their new puppy from about 12 weeks of age – remember they have the knowledge on what to train and what not to train and how long they should train every day so again ASK YOUR INSTRUCTOR!

Current club requirements are that you and your dog to be in Class 3 of Obedience Training in our club before you can join the Agility Class BUT if you can demonstrate to us that your dog can work off lead, with no problems – an exception MAY be made to this rule, again you can confirm all this on the Sunday you join up.

The mission of the Agility beginner class is to get the dog comfortable, relaxed and having fun with all the equipment and not to pick up on any nervous output by the handler.

By the time the 8-week course has finished, your dog should be able to work off lead and work with you on the Single Bar Jumps, Wing Jumps, Broad Jumps, Tyre, Table, Cloth Tunnel, Pipe Tunnel, Dog Walk and would have Started - Weaving poles, A Frame & Sequencing.   

Items to bring to training
  • Flat collar for your dog (check/choker chains are not allowed)
  • Long flat lead
  • Something to tie your dog to
  • Plastic bags to pick up any of your dog's poo...
  • Plenty of good smelly treats for your dog (if using food rewards)
  • Your dog's favorite toy: - could be a ball etc.
  • Clicker, if doing clicker training
  • A loud happy voice
  • A will to ask questions – if one instructor does not have the answer another one wil
  • A willingness to have a good time
  • To be able to take criticism of handling skills, Instructors are only trying to help you gain your goal
Items not to bring to training
  1. A bad mood – your dog WILL PICK UP ON THIS and may not be happy to work
  2. The idea that your dog can start at Masters level

Check what time Training starts and make sure you arrive at least 20 mins before class starts.

DO NOT WALK YOUR DOG TOO NEAR TO ANY DOG that maybe TIED UP or CRATED. Give then a lot of room as some dogs may become AGGRESSIVE about their OWN SPACE and what they see as their OWN PROPERTY

Other Thing to Remember --->
  • Your Membership Tag – showing your Name and the Dogs name.
  • Ground Fees currently set at $3.00 per session to be paid on the night.
  • All Dogs are to remain on lead unless under Instructor's direction.
  • Any Handler, who does not help in setting up the equipment, will NOT be allowed to train their dog.
  • Any Handler who uses the equipment MUST help in putting the equipment away.
  • If your dog should foul the grounds, you MUST pick it up.