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Dog Agility Course

Updated on September 25, 2015

Set Up and Design

The trial Judge is responsible for the course design, but the Chief Builder and the Ring Stewards are responsible for the layout and building of the course. When the course is built, the Judge checks it, measuring the distance between the obstacles and the overall course distance. The Judge will adjust the course, if needed. Every course is unique and never used twice.

Grid Layout
Grid Layout
3-D Layout
3-D Layout


Once the course is set up, the handlers gather together for a briefing where the Judge summarizes how the class will be judged. Then, the handlers are walked through the course, without the dogs, so they can become familiarized with the layout. Most handlers will run the course several times, so they can map out what may challenge themselves and the dogs. Based on previous courses and experiences, the handlers will map out strategies to handle any challenges set out by the Judge.

Running The Course

The dogs run the courses without a leash and without a collar to prevent the leash becoming caught on an obstacle. The Judge usually tells the handler when to begin the course, and the Timer starts the stopwatch as soon as any part of the dog crosses the start line and stops when any part of the dog crosses the finish line. Next to the Timer, sits a Scribe who documents any faults in the run signaled by the Judge. Once the run is complete, the Timer shows the Scribe the stopwatch, and he records it on his sheet. A Runner takes the Scribe's sheet to the score tent for final calculations, and the final score is posted for the competitors to view their placement.


Common faults include:

  • Missing a contact zone
  • Incorrect weave entry
  • Non-completion of an obstacle
  • Off course (taking an obstacle out of sequence)
  • Knocking off a bar
  • Leaving the table before judges count of 5
  • Exceeding the time allowed for completing the course.

Running an Agility Course


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      Zoe 6 years ago

      i don't know what all the things on the grid layout would you be able to write underneath what they are thanks x

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      dog agility all the WAY! woot 6 years ago

      This is the best it really helped me when i went to natinals

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      Chaz  8 years ago

      My dog Chaz is great at agility, this weekend I'm planning to take a video of her. This summmer I'm also planning to enter her in her first compotision.

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      Brooke 9 years ago

      Aweosme page!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      I just added an ebay and amazon section where you can find decently priced agility equipment

    • profile image

      Sophie 9 years ago


      Great Page!

      Im Looking For A Cheap Set Of Agility Equipment For My Collie But I Don't Know Were To Find Any!

      I Have Tried Google!


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      horseluver 10 years ago

      awesome page !!!

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      Krysta 10 years ago