What Do Dog Agility Beginners Need to Know?

If you are thinking of taking up dog agility, you’re in luck! Dog agility is an incredibly fun and rewarding sport for you and your pup.

But before you get started, there are a few things you need to know. You’ll want to start by familiarizing yourself with the equipment and rules of the sport, as well as some basic training techniques. With the right knowledge, you’ll be able to start working on agility with your pup and having tons of fun in no time!


When it comes to dog agility, having the right equipment is key. The first thing you’ll need is an agility course. This should include an A-frame, a dog walk, and a set of jumps, along with some agility obstacles such as tunnels and seesaws.

You’ll also need to invest in a few safety items like a safety harness and a non-slip collar. You’ll want to purchase a few training aids, such as a clicker and treats, to help you motivate your pup.

Don’t forget about the optional equipment.

If you’re serious about agility, you’ll want to invest in a good agility timer and an indoor/outdoor agility set. You can also splurge on a practice jump and weave poles, which will help you and your dog become more proficient. Consider buying a “jumpsuit” – a special outfit designed to make your pup look like a true agility competitor.

Necessary Equipment

When it comes to dog agility, necessary equipment includes a variety of items such as an agility hurdle, a tunnel, a tire jump, a pause box and a teeter. Having these items will ensure you are able to properly practice and train for the sport.

Buying new can be expensive, so don’t forget to check with your local dog agility group to find out if there is any used equipment you can borrow for practice sessions. It is also important to purchase items that are safe and durable for your dog to use. This means getting equipment that is the right size for your dog and made with quality materials.

Be sure to invest in items that are comfortable for your pup and that you can use for a long time.

It is a good idea to practice on the same type of equipment that is used in competition. This will help you to become familiar with the type of equipment that is used and how to properly maneuver it with your pup. You can also practice with different types of surfaces, such as grass, dirt, and sand. This will help you and your pup become more comfortable with different types of surfaces and agility obstacles.

Optional Equipment

When you first get started with dog agility, you don’t need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment. You can get started with just the basics – a collar, leash and a few jumps.

For more experienced handlers, there are some optional pieces of equipment that can help you take your agility game to the next level. Weave poles, and contact equipment such as A-frames and dog walks can be quite useful when it comes to training your pup.

They can also add an extra level of difficulty to your course, which can be beneficial if you’re looking to enter competitive agility shows. If you’re having trouble with handling techniques, you can look into getting an agility handler’s vest or body harness, which can help with your accuracy and agility. If you’re looking for something a bit more casual, there are also some fun pieces of agility training equipment such as wobble boards, hurdle jumps and even treat bags that can help you engage your pup and provide them with stimulating activities.

Not only will this make agility training more enjoyable for both you and your pup, but it can also be a great way to give them an outlet for their energy. So don’t be afraid to invest in some fun equipment to keep your pup on their toes!


When it comes to dog agility, it’s important to know the rules. Every class has different standards, so make sure you know the proper guidelines before you enter any competition.

Standard classes require that the handler’s dog must complete an agility course, consisting of obstacles such as tunnels, hurdles and weave poles, within a set time frame. Non-standard classes often have more freedom, allowing for more creative approaches.

It’s important to remember that agility is a sport and requires training. Beginners should start out with basic training, such as teaching their dog the commands for jumping, climbing and weaving. Once your dog is comfortable with the basics, you can move onto more advanced techniques.

This may include teaching your dog to weave more quickly or jump higher.

Brushing up on your handling techniques can help you better direct your dog around the course. In conclusion, it’s important to know the rules of the sport, as well as the basics of training, before you enter into any agility competitions. This will ensure that both you and your dog have a fun and successful experience.

Standard Classes

If you’re looking to get into dog agility, you’ll need to know about the standard classes, as these are the basics of the sport. Standard classes include Jumpers, Standard, and Gamblers, and each one requires different handling and different rules.

Jumpers is a timed class where you have to direct your dog around a course of jumps and tunnels, Standard is a classic agility course with you and your dog negotiating various obstacles, and Gamblers requires you to collect points as you and your dog navigate the course. To get the most out of these classes, it helps to understand the rules and the obstacles, as well as practice and familiarize yourself with specific commands. Knowing your dog’s strengths and weaknesses is also key, so you’re able to direct them around the course accordingly. It’s important to remember that agility is all about fun for both you and your dog, so it’s important to take your time and enjoy the experience.

Non-Standard Classes

When it comes to non-standard classes of dog agility, there are a few things to keep in mind. These classes are not typically seen in standard agility competitions, but they do have their own set of rules and regulations. Some of these classes can be quite challenging and require a certain level of skill and experience.

The rewards of competing in these classes can be quite rewarding and fulfilling. If you’re interested in competing in non-standard classes, the first step is to make sure you’re familiar with the rules and regulations.

This can usually be found on the agility club or organization’s website.

Once you’ve read and understood the rules, you can begin to practice and train for the classes. You’ll want to practice the course and any specific skills that might be required by the class.

Although non-standard classes can be quite challenging, they’re also a great way to take your agility training to the next level. With practice and dedication, you can build your skills and have a truly rewarding experience with your pup. So if you’re up for the challenge, don’t be afraid to give non-standard classes of dog agility a try!


Training is a key component of dog agility. To be successful, beginners should familiarize themselves with the basics of agility training. Start with basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come.

This will lay the foundation for the more complex commands and techniques used in agility.

Add in basic agility obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. As your pup progresses, introduce more complex agility exercises to challenge them.

Ensure your pup is comfortable with the various agility equipment to help them perform their best. As you train your pup, it is important to remain patient and positive.

Praise your pup for a job well done, and give them plenty of treats. This will help keep their enthusiasm high and encourage them to keep learning.

Try to practice regularly. This will help your pup stay focused and will reinforce the commands and techniques.

Success in agility takes time, but with consistent practice, your pup can become a pro! If you have any questions or need help with your agility training, consider seeking out an experienced trainer. They can offer personalized advice and provide guidance to help you and your pup reach your goals. With their help, you and your pup can be a formidable duo in the agility ring!

Basic Training

When it comes to dog agility training, starting off with the basics is key. There are several basic commands and skills that every pup should know before you move on to the more advanced levels. Start by teaching them general obedience like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘heel’, ‘come’ and ‘down’.

Mastering the basics will ensure that your pup will have the discipline and focus to progress onto more complex agility courses. Once your dog has the basics down, you can start introducing obedience exercises, such as weaving poles and negotiating jump hurdles.

Consider enrolling them in agility classes so they can practice with other dogs and learn from experienced instructors. This can also help you and your pup to learn more about the sport, as well as the rules that come with it. Most importantly, have fun and remember that positive reinforcement will help your pup to master agility.

Advanced Training

Advanced training is essential for anyone looking to excel in dog agility. To take things to the next level, start by mastering basic skills such as weaving, jumps, and contacts.

Once those are solid, move on to more challenging drills. You’ll want to work on timing and consistency to help your dog trust you and become more confident.

You’ll also need to focus on cueing, so your pup understands your commands. Start tackling sequences, so your dog is ready for competition.

Training should be fun for both you and your pup. Take your time and don’t push your pup too hard.

Start slowly and gradually increase the difficulty of drills. Work on one skill at a time, and use treats and praise to reward your pup. With consistent training and a positive attitude, you’ll be able to work towards becoming an agility master.


Dog agility can be a great way for you and your pup to bond and get some exercise. To get the most out of it though, you’ll need to know the basics.

As far as equipment goes, you’ll need a few necessities like an agility tunnel, a dog walk, and a pause table. If you’re looking for some extra fun, you can also invest in optional items like weave poles and a tire jump. Rules-wise, there are two main types of classes you can enter: standard classes, which follow the rules set out by the AKC and non-standard classes, which are more free-form.

You’ll need to get your pup training. Start with the basics like sit, stay, and come, then move on to more advanced exercises like the compass and serpentines.

Put the time in and you’ll both have a blast. So don’t be afraid to get out there and get started on your agility journey!

Megan Turner

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