Agility Classes

Agility Basics

Agility Classes are for owners interested in competing in agility trials and for people who are looking for a fun and constructive activity to do with their dogs. Dogs are taught how to jump correctly and perform agility equipment safely and with speed. Owners are taught training and handling skills that will enable them to successfully negotiate courses.

Classes are offered in Abita Springs on Sunday mornings and in Metairie at the K-9 Klub Agility Field on Sunday afternoons. Please contact us for information about the southshore classes or to pre-register and enroll in one of the northshore classes. The information below pertains to the northshore classes only.

Fido Finishing School Students
Fido Finishing School Students
Spirit Hemi
Hemi Hemi
Hemi *** Hemi ***
Magic Matrix
Magic Matrix
Magic Matrix
Magic Matrix
Otto Willi
Otto Willi
Lily Lily
Lily ** Lily **

Class Descriptions

Agility FUNdamentals

Puppies, children, adult dogs, and grown-ups new to agility are all welcome in the Agility FUNdamentals class. This class is designed to introduce you and your puppy or dog to the sport of agility. During class, agility obstacles are introduced in a safe and fun manner. In addition to safe use of the equipment, the class also covers beginning jumping and basic handling skills, attention, motivation and control. All training is done on-leash, and exercises are modified as needed for safety purposes for puppies. This class is for first-time agility students, owners who are mainly interested in confidence-building, and for those who are not interested in competing, or not sure if they are interested in competing. The classes are held in 4-week sessions.

Introduction to Competition Agility, Levels 1-3

For people who are interested in competing in agility trials. Dogs MUST have successfully completed a basic obedience class before starting in this class, must be physically fit with no chronic lameness, and must be a weight that is appropriate for a canine athlete. Move-ups to the Intermediate class are not automatic at the end of the Intro, Level 3 class. Advancement to the higher classes will depend on each dog’s age, ability, and progress, and is at the instructor's discretion.

Intermediate Agility, Levels 1-3

In this class, owners are starting to have off-leash control of their dogs, and dogs can perform all agility obstacles safely. Sequencing and obstacle discriminations are introduced, contact performances are proofed, jump heights are slowly raised, and the owner’s handling and training skills are refined.

Advanced Agility

The Advanced Class is for dogs and handlers who are close to entering their first trial, as well as those who are currently trialing in the equivalent of AKC’s Novice, Open, and Excellent A classes. Dogs must have excellent off-leash control, be able to perform all obstacles safely and with speed, and must be jumping at their full height. Advanced handling skills and course strategies are discussed.

Excellent Agility

Depending on interest, this class may or may not be offered on a regular basis. This class is for dogs currently trialing in the equivalent of AKC’s Excellent B classes. Course content includes critiquing handling skills, analyzing complex sequences, and enhancing obstacle performance and speed.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are also offered for more individualized training or problem solving, or for those whose schedules are incompatible with regular classes. To schedule a private lesson, please contact Julie.

Taylor and Splash
Taylor and Splash
Storm Sage
Storm Sage
Delilah **
Morgan **

Information for the Agility Beginner *

The World of Agility

“Running a dog in an agility trial is the ultimate game for you and your dog and is one of the most exciting canine sports for spectators. In an agility trial, a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. It’s an activity that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and provides fun and exercise for both, which might explain why it’s so enjoyable to watch and has become the fastest growing dog sport in the U.S.!”

Two Types of Classes

“There are two types of classes offered at an agility trial: Standard and Jumpers with Weaves. The Standard class has contact obstacles, which have yellow contact zones at each end. Contact obstacles include A-frame, dog walk and seesaw. The dog must place a least one paw in the contact zone in order not to receive a fault. This encourages safety in training and in running the course. Standard class also has a variety of jumps, weave poles, pause table, tunnels and a closed chute.

“The Jumpers with Weaves class does not have contact obstacles or a pause table to slow the team’s forward momentum. This is a very fast course requiring instant decisions by the handler and close attention from the dog.”

Levels of Competition

“There are three different levels of competition in agility:

NOVICE - for the dog that is just starting in agility. There are 13 to 15 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Novice class is on performing the obstacles with minimal handling technique.

OPEN - for the dog that has completed the Novice level. There are 16 to 18 obstacles on this course. The focus of the open class is on more difficult obstacle course performance with more handling skill required.

EXCELLENT - for the dog that has completed the open level. There are 18 to 20 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Excellent A & B class is to provide the opportunity for dogs and handlers to demonstrate their superior skills in moving quickly and efficiently with close communication and teamwork through challenging agility courses. The Excellent B level is the class where handler-dog teams can earn the title, Master Agility Champion (MACH).”

* All material taken directly from the AKC’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Agility”.

** Photo by Michael Loftis Photography

*** Photo by Great Dane Photos