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About Agility

So you want to learn about agility? Welcome to the sport of dog agility. Many of you were probably introduced to the sport through your local Parks and Recreation Department, watching an event on television or hearing a fellow dog owner talking about it. It is a fast-paced fun sport for dogs and their owners looking for challenges beyond sit, stay and rollover (and those aren't even the dog's tricks).

Here is some basic information to get you started. Download this complete description for more information. As you start competition, you will find that many venues offer a variety of games. This download will tell you about the games offered in the CPE venue.


Agility Trial Jobs

Course Builder: Helps move equipment between classes to set the course for the next class. You must be aware of when each class ends so the new course can be set quickly. The Chief Course Builder provides instruction about what pieces of equipment are needed and where to place them.

Ring Steward: Makes sure that all workers are at the ring and ready to go. Makes sure that all jobs are filled and educates the workers on each of their jobs.

Gate Steward: Gate Steward checks in all dogs before the course walk through is over. A "C" is put next to a dog's name if there might be a known conflict. Please check with the judge about any dogs that need (or are requested) to move up or down in the running order. Before the run starts make sure all the scribe sheets are in the same order as the running order. Make sure dogs and handlers are ready at the start line. We would like 3 dogs ready at all times - the general terminology is, "Dog one, on the line (this means the dog/handler should be making their way to the start line), "Dog two, on deck (this dog should be getting ready to go and waiting near the course entrance), "Dog three, in the hold" (this dog will follow dog two). You will send Dog One into the ring at the time the judge has specified. Running order lists will be in notebooks at each ring and scribe sheets will be in a file box at each ring. Please post on the white board.

Scribe: Marks down faults and points as directed by the judge on scribe sheet while each dog is running. Scribing differs for different classes, and the judge will familiarize you with what to do. The judge will instruct you as to the meaning of various hand signals. You must watch the judge at all times during each run. If you are ever unclear of a judge's signal, wait until after the run and clarify before the next dog starts. You need to verify that you have the correct scribe sheet for each dog. Before going to the ring: Get scribe sheets, pencil, and clipboard from table near ring.

Timer: Ensures the timers start and stop properly. Uses stopwatch to time a dog during a run if doing manual timing. One person must time an entire class to minimize timing differences. The judge will give you specific instructions on timing a class before the first dog runs. The Timer is important in keeping the competition running on time, so you must cue the next dog and handler as soon as you see that the judge is ready and you are ready to begin. As soon as a dog begins and you start the watch, check that the watch/timer is running. If it is not, blow the whistle immediately to stop the run. Stopwatches will be in the ring boxes at each ring.

Scribe Runner: Takes the scribe sheet from timer to Score Table. Do this every 3-4 dogs.

Leash Runner: Takes leashes from the start line to finish line. In AKC the runner must stay inside the ring.

Jump Setter: Resets bars for height changes and when they are knocked by dogs during a run. Judge will instruct you before each class as to where you should sit and whether the bars are to be reset during a run; for example, if a jump is taken twice in the same run.

Score Table: Scorekeepers input the scores into the computer and prints documents accordingly.