What Is AKC Agility
IT IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING DOG SPORTS IN THE USA!
Agility is a sport that appeals to all dog lovers – from young people to senior citizens. It has great spectator appeal. Agility is designed to demonstrate a dog’s willingness to work with its handler in a variety of situations. It is an athletic event that requires conditioning, concentration, training and teamwork. Dog and handlers negotiate an obstacle course racing against the clock.
The German Shorthaired Pointer has all the characterizes needed for the agility sport! Agility demands speed, nimbleness, drive and enthusiasm! (The owner soon discovers this need too)!
Since its inception the sport has continued to expand, and more and more German Shorthaired pointers are showing up in the agility rings to compete and WIN in a sport that requires intense teamwork, training, and motivation! If you have a GSP looking for something to do, look up your local training club and see if they offer agility classes. You may find a new adventure hobby to enjoy with your GSP!
Just a bit of History:
The first GSP to earn a MACH (Master Agility Champion title) was CH. MACH Vonwey’s Morgan Sonnenschein CDX JH AAD JM owned by Diane Lewis with the title earned in 2001.
As of May 2015 there are 91 MACH titled German Shorthaired pointers!
The AKC offers three types of agility classes. The first, Standard Class, includes contact objects such as the dog walk, the A-frame, and seesaw. Each of the contact obstacles has a “safety zone” painted on the object and the dog must place at least one paw in that area to complete the obstacle. The second is Jumpers with Weaves. It has only jumps, tunnels and weaves poles with no contact objects to slow the pace. The third is FAST, which stands for Fifteen and Send Time. This class is designed to test handler and dog teams’ strategy skill, accuracy, speed and distance handling.
All classes offer increasing levels of difficulty to earn Novice, Open, Excellent and Master titles. After completing both an Excellent Standard title and an Excellent Jumpers title, handler and dog teams can compete for the MACH – faster than the speed of sound! (Master Agility Championship title.)
Agility began in England in 1978. The AKC held its first agility trial in 1994.
Agility is one of the fastest growing dog sports in the United States and is the fastest growing event at the AKC.
A trial is a competition. Clubs hold practice matches and then apply to be licensed to hold official trials. At a licensed trial, handlers and dogs can earn scores toward agility titles.
An advantage to AKC participation is that dogs can earn titles in a variety of events such as conformation, lure coursing, earth dog, retrieving and field trials, obedience, rally (as of 1/1/05), and tracking, as well as agility.
In the first year of AKC agility there were 23 trials. In 2003, there were 1,379 trials. The number of trials held in 2007 was 2,014.
In the first year of AKC agility (1994), there were approximately 2,000 entries in AKC agility trials.
The classes are divided by jump heights in order to make the competition equal between the different sizes of dogs.
The newest level of agility Championship is the PACH! This new title was Introduced on July 1st, 2011.
The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased to introduce the new Preferred Agility Champion title (PACH). Created as a way to recognize the superior performance, speed and consistency of AKC’s preferred agility competitors, dogs must achieve a minimum of 750 championship points and 20 double qualifying scores from the Excellent B Preferred Standard class and the Excellent B Preferred Jumpers with Weaves class to obtain this prestigious championship.
As of May 2015 there are 8 PACH titled German Shorthaired pointers!