Dog Agility

What is dog agility?

Dog agility is a competitive sport in which a handler directs a dog over an obstacle course, using voice and hand signals. Dogs maneuver through a timed course designed to test agility as they jump over hurdles, race through tunnels, traverse ramps and a see-saw, scale an A-ramp, and weave through a line of poles. It is the handler’s challenge to give the necessary guidance and encouragement to direct the dog without the use of a leash.

What kinds of dogs compete?

Dogs can be any breed or mix of dog, any age, size, or origin. In fact, some of the competitors are former rescue dogs. For competition purposes, dogs are grouped in classes by experience and height; small dogs compete over a smaller course of objects than large dogs.

What are the dog agility obstacles?


Weave poles





Dog walk

Awards podium

How long has dog agility been around?

Dog agility traces its beginning to Great Britain, where the sport was first witnessed at the Crufts Dog Show in 1978 as entertainment in the main ring. The sport captured the interest of many dog fanciers and in 1985 found its way to the United States where agility enthusiasts began developing the framework for the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA®).

Today, the USDAA is the world’s largest, independent canine sports authority, dedicated to promoting the sport of dog agility as a recreational, family sport that fosters responsible pet ownership. For more information or to get involved, visit .

Learn more about the USDAA

Great Dane Photos courtesy of USDAA