Lucky Dog Agility

Shalom's Guide to Dog Agility
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There are several different organizations for agility trials. The United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) was organized to promote international standards in dog agility and is very competitive. The North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) aim is to provide a fast and safe version of agility and provides a variety of game classes. AKC is the other major organization that sponsors agility trials in northeast Georgia and probably the most popular venue. UKC also has an agility program but no trials are offered in this area and there are different pieces of equipment.
Dogs compete in different jump height categories based on the height at the shoulders. USDAA jumps are somewhat higher than those in AKC or NADAC. Shalom is 13.5 " tall and is in the 12" jump height categories at NADAC and AKC trials and 16" at USDAA trials. Bigger dogs jump 20" - 24" jumps and smaller dogs may jump 8" jumps. USDAA and AKC offer alternate titling programs for dogs to jump 4" lower than standard jump heights. NADAC offers jump height exemptions (dogs get to jump 4" lower than their height would indicate) for some heavy-bodied breeds and also offers a veterans division for older dogs and a junior handler division with lower jump heights. My friend (not) Ollie is showing off jumping a 20" jump -- much higher than he is required to jump in agility trials. Pretty silly that NADAC put the Swedish Vallhunds on the jump height exemption breed list.
All of the agility organizations have three levels of classes. Generally, you have to qualify in each level three times to earn a title and advance to the next level. Titles are the string of letters people add after a dog's name. For example, my name with titles is something like Rosewood's Shalom MAD,EAC,EJC,EGC,AX,AXJ,CD,FDX. Dog people love titles, ribbons and prizes. This fact goes a long way to explain why they spend so much time, energy and money getting their dogs to go over and through agility obstacles. Mostly though it's just really fun.