Agility is a fun sport that emphasizes teamwork between the dog and the handler. A course of obstacles (jumps, weave poles, tunnels, A-frame, dogwalk, teeter-totter and more jumps) is set up in an approximately 100’ X 100’ area. Courses are designed by the agility judge. The running path is such that the dog would not be able to complete the obstacles in their designated running order by himself and must have direction from the human on the team. Speed and accuracy are important to being successful in agility. Positive reinforcement and being more interesting than dirt are necessary for the handler to get the Lhasa Apso to perform!

There are two types of courses that are run: a Standard course uses the teeter, A-frame, dogwalk, pause table, jumps, weaves and tunnels; a Jumpers course has jumps, weaves and tunnels. Dogs are measured and jump at jump heights that are possible for them to do. Dogs that are 11” or less at the withers jump 8” in AKC agility trials. There is also a Preferred jump height where the dog jumps 4” less than the standard height for them.

Teams start competing at the Novice level, progressing to Open and then Excellent. 3 qualifying legs are needed to earn the basic titles in these divisions. After earning the Excellent Jumpers with Weaves and Excellent Standard titles, teams can compete for the Master Excellent Jumpers or Master Excellent Standard titles and then earn a MACH (Master Agility Champion) title.

The training builds better communications between dog and handler. The relationship that forms with the one-on-one training and better communication is especially strong.

AKC Agility – Get Started