The majority of agility shows are run by clubs that are affiliated to the Kennel Club and are run under the Kennel Club's rules.
These shows include qualifiers for the most prestigious competitions at Crufts each March and at Olympia each December. They also provide a route for winning the three Championship classes needed to gain an agility dog the coveted 'Agility Champion' title.
All dogs competing in Small and Medium height categories must be measured by official agility measurers before they compete at their first Agility show. A second measurement must be undertaken 12 to 24 months after the first measurement.
Dogs competing in the Large height category do not need an official measure before competing. However, those handlers who are not sure if their dog is large or medium may still have their dog measured.
Please be aware that once a dog has competed in the large height category at a Kennel Club Licensed event without a measurement it cannot subsequently change to a different height.
There are three height categories, for
- Large Dogs, measuring over 430mm (1ft 5ins) at the withers;
- Medium Dogs, measuring over 350mm (1ft 1.75ins) and measuring 430mm (1ft 5ins) or under at the withers (shoulder); and
- Small Dogs, measuring 350mm (1ft 1.75ins) or under at the withers.
For more details, please see the Kennel Club's Agility Measuring page.
There are seven levels (or Grades) to competition at KC shows and
progression is via a win-based system or a dog can progress on points
(up to Grade 5) if the handler chooses. This is run in conjunction with
the Kennel Club's Agility Warrant (AW) system.
with new handlers start in Grade 1 and if they gain the wins required
move up through the grades until they reach Grade 7, at which point they
become eligible for Championship classes.
Another important stipulation is that dogs must be over 18 months old before they can compete.
There are also different types of classes :- Agility classes, Jumping classes and Special classes. Whereas an Agility class can contain any piece of agility equipment, a Jumping class only requires the dogs to undertake jumps, tunnels and the weaves. Special classes are defined by the show management in the schedule. These would include team events, pairs, as well as ones with unusual names like Helter Skelter, Gamblers, Knock-Out and Power & Speed etc. These should be clearly defined in the schedule so you know exactly what to expect when you enter the class.
sizes vary considerably and are generally a lot smaller for small and
medium sized dogs than for the large dogs where classes can consist of
over 200 dogs. Sometimes a big class will be split into separate parts
with a separate set of prizes for each part.
Launched in 2004, UKA provide two separate progression programmes leading to agility titles. The Performance programme requires points to be gained in a range of Agility, Jumping and Games classes such as Gamblers and Snooker. The Steeplechase programme is based on Steeplechase classes consisting only of jumps and tunnels. UKA runs a week long show with its national championships in August each year, and also sends a team to the IFCS world championships.