So what is dog agility?

I asked some of the super handlers who come along every week what they thought dog agility was.

Here's one succinct quote from Kate O: Agility is building a bond with your dog, getting fit, learning new things, learning to trust your dog and yourself, getting out there and having fun! 

See some more great quotes at the bottom of the page!

How agile is your dog?

I bet they can jump, but...

Will they sprint away from you? Listen when you want them to change direction? Turn towards and away from you? Go through a tunnel? Weave in and out of poles? Climb high and run fast over different surfaces?

Learning to do dog agility and/or Hoopers teaches them that and much, much more!

Most, but not all dogs are suitable for these dog sports. Dogs that enjoy exercise, running and clambering have the best fun and get the opportunity to work with you to negotiate a course which get a little more complex as you both gain experience. 

Whether you aim to compete or not you still learn the same foundations and take part in the same lessons, there is absolutely no pressure either way but you have to learn safely and it's all about the partnership that you develop and the fun that you have together!

If you do not want to compete, there is still no reason why you cannot train your dog, however, be aware that a lot of handlers started out doing it just for fun! Here at Beancroft many dog and handler partnerships choose not to compete although there are some that compete at high levels across the country.


After a series of foundation flatwork lessons where together you learn groundwork skills; chasing and rewarding and building the bond you already have, you move on to the series of lessons where these skills are put together and you can begin to complete more complex and longer sequences of obstacles. We will go on to introduce the equipment specific to that too, once the flatwork is strong.


Betsy (2005-2020) showing speed through the weaves...



Why train your dog to do agility?

Dog training classes are a great way to socialise your dog and meet other dog owners. All dogs will benefit from training classes, whether they are pets or going on to develop skills in different canine activities. Dog agility is a lot of fun for both you and your dog, so much fun in fact that it's incredibly addictive! 

Things you may wish to consider when training include:

Do you like what you see; are people happy and enjoying training their dogs?
Are the dogs happily focused on their human family?
Is the instructor giving lots of encouragement to everyone?
Is the instructor maintaining a controlled, safe environment for all?

Is the equipment safe? For agility, is it competition standard, safe and robust equipment?

Is the contact equipment rubber coated and in good condition?

Is the tyre breakaway? (Does it split apart if hit?)

Are tunnels secured by strong bags, at least 1 per metre apart?
Is the instructor treating everyone fairly and meeting the needs of the whole group (or individual in a private lesson)?
Are people told about what they are learning and why? Do they know how this will benefit them?


Billy shows you why you should train your dog to do agility...he has the best fun! 

Danny, rehearsing his balance skills out walking! 


Beancroft members quotes...

Kate L: Agility is great fun for your dog and you; you meet lots of lovely people, you get fitter, your dog gets fitter and you end up with a dog van, caravan or camper and spend lots of weekends with like minded people. 

Did I mention how much fun and addictive it was? 


Rosy (who contributed the definition from the Agility Club): Agility gets you outside. It gets you moving. It gets you and your dog working together. Agility brings you friends and adventures away from your everyday routine. 


Diane: Agility is a fun sport for you and your dog. It’s a great social sport and a friendly and supportive community. Your dog and you both get good exercise and keep fit. Your dog thinks it's fun & never feels you’ve let them down. It’s also an excellent mental exercise for them and tires them much more than a physical walk.


Gail: Whether you want fun or want to win, agility is a great way to build a strong bond with your dog and meet new people.