What’s in a Title – Agility

| October 1, 2011 | 0 Comments
Share Button
Yellow Labrador Flying High - http://retrieverlife.com

Flying High!

Introduction

This is a part of a series explaining various types of competition and how to obtain various titles in conformation, hunt, obedience, agility, tracking, etc. I was amazed to find so many organizations that offer agility titles and support the sport.  Normally, this article would cover agility titles and how to achieve them as well as help you understand what those letters mean at the end of a dog’s AKC name; however, the focus will be on agility events sponsored by the American Kennel Club with references and links to other sponsors. It is by no means comprehensive, just enough to whet your appetite and encourage you to get out with your dog and compete.

An agility trial demonstrates a dog’s agile nature, versatility, and willingness to work with its handler in a variety of situations through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. It is an athletic event that highlights the bond between the dog and handler and requires conditioning, concentration, training and teamwork. It also has great spectator appeal!

AKC Agility Titles

Eligibility. AKC Agility trials are open to all registerable and mixed breeds from Chihuahuas to Mastiffs; the dogs run the same course but the classes are divided by jump heights in order to make the competition equal for the different sizes of dogs. In order to compete, the dog must be at least 15 months of age and can be spayed or neutered. Bitches in season are NOT eligible to participate.

Competition Types:

  • Standard – class includes contact obstacles which have a “safety zone” painted on the object and the dog must place at least one paw in that zone to successfully qualify
  • Jumpers With Weaves – class only has jumps, tunnels and weave poles with no contact obstacles which encourages a faster pace
  • Fifteen and Send Time (FAST) – class provides an allotment of time to navigate through various point-valued obstacles and tests the strategy, skill, accuracy, and speed of a dog and its handler in a fast-paced atmosphere

 Competition Levels (all types of classes above offer these levels):

  • Novice – for the beginning agility dog. The course has 14-16 obstacles which are performed with minimal handling
  • Open – for the dog that has completed the Novice level. The course has 16-18 obstacles which require more handling
  • Excellent – for the dog that has completed the Open level. The course has 18-20 obstacles which highlights the teamwork of the dog and its handler

 Obstacles and Performance Criteria (to give you an idea of what your dog and you must do)

  • A-Frame – must go up one panel and down the other touching appropriate contact zone
  • Dog Walk – must go up the ramp, cross the center section, go down the other ramp touching appropriate contact zone
  • Seesaw – must go up the plank, cause the plank to pivot, and go down the other side touching appropriate contact zones
  • Pause Table – must pause on the table for 5 cumulative seconds
  • Open Tunnel – must enter the end specified by the judge and exit the other
  • Closed Tunnel – must enter the rigid entrance and exit through the fabric chute
  • Weave Poles – must enter between poles 1 and 2 from right to left then continue sequence
  • Bar Jumps – must jump over the top bar, without knocking it off
  • Panel Jump – must jump over the top bar, without knocking it off
  • Double Bar Jump – must jump over the top bars, without knocking either off
  • Triple Bar Jump – must jump over all bars, without knocking any off
  • Tire Jump – must jump through the tire opening without knocking tire or frame over
  • Broad Jump – must jump all section without moving or stepping on the board

Qualifying Criteria. Each dog must earn qualifying scores (3 for Novice, Open, or Excellent A and 10 for Excellent B) under two independent judges. Qualifying scores are achieving a minimum of 85 (100 is perfect score) navigating a specified number of obstacles within a certain amount of time after penalties and faults are applied. Note: for FAST courses, the maximum score is 80 and the qualifying score is progressively higher for each level.

Preferred Titles. Preferred titles are offered that map to all of the standard and FAST agility titles. All the criteria are the same however the jump height is lowered and more generous course times are allowed which encourages a greater variety of dogs and handlers to participate.

Titles:

Novice Agility (NA) or Novice Agility Preferred (NAP)
Novice Jumpers With Weaves (NAJ) or Novice Jumpers With Weaves Preferred (NJP)
Novice FAST (NF) or Agility FAST Novice Preferred (NFP)

Open Agility (OA) or Open Agility Preferred (OAP)
Open Jumpers With Weaves (OAJ) or Open Agility Jumper Preferred (OJP)
Open FAST (OF) or Agility FAST Open Preferred (OFP)

Agility Excellent (AX) or Agility Excellent Preferred (AXP)
Excellent Jumpers With Weaves (AXJ) or Excellent Agility Jumper Preferred (AJP)
Excellent FAST (XF) or Agility FAST Excellent Preferred (XFP)

Master Agility Excellent (MX) or Master Agility Excellent Preferred (MXP)
Master Excellent Jumpers With Weaves (MXJ) or Master Excellent Jumper Preferred (MJP)
Agility Master FAST Excellent (MXF) or Agility Master FAST Excellent Preferred (MFP)

Master Agility Champion (MACH) or Preferred Agility Champion (PACH) – awarded to a dog who exhibits speed and consistency in a superior performance on the agility course. The dog must achieve a minimum of 750 championship points (1 point for each full second under the standard course time) and 20 double qualifying scores from the Excellent B Agility and Jumpers With Weaves classes (must score 100 points in both classes on the same day). When a numeric designation follows MACH (or PACH), it indicates the quality of times the dog has met the requirements. For example, MACH2  (or PACH2) implies achieving 1500 championship points and 40 double qualifying (2Q) scores.

Note: The higher title will supersede the preceding title and only the highest title will be listed. For example, a dog that achieves a Novice Agility (NA) then achieves an Open Agility (OA) title can list “OA” following his AKC name and it’s understood that he has achieve both. Similarly with the MACH title except that appears before the AKC name.

Additional titles:

Lifetime achievement titles exist at the Master Bronze, Master Silver, and Master Gold levels for each competition type. Plus,

FAST Century 1 Title (FTC1)  or FAST Century 1 Preferred Title (FTCP1) – awarded to a dog who obtains the MXF title plus 100 additional Excellent B FAST class qualifying scores of at least 60. The numeric designation indicates the number of times the dog has met the requirement

Triple Q Excellent (TQX) or Triple Q Excellent Preferred (TQXP) – awarded to a dog that acquires 10 triple qualifying scores from Excellent B Agility, Excellent B Jumpers With Weaves, and the Excellent B FAST Agility classes on the same day.

Other Agility Organization and Sponsors

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, AKC is not the only organization that sponsors agility events. In fact, there are multiple organizations, some of which are listed below.  They basically have the same obstacles but may apply different rules and certainly have different classes and titles to offer.  I have provided a list (starting with youngest eligibility then alphabetically) with a brief summary and links for you to evaluate further if you’d like to participate.

UKC (United Kennel Club)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 12 months or older
Registration – must be registered to participate, track scores and apply titles
Levels – I, II, III
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, seesaw, swing plank, closed/crawl/hoop tunnel, pause box, hurdles, and weave poles
Sample titles – UAGI (United Agility I), UACH (United Agility Champion), UACHX (United Agility Excellent)

CKC (Continental Kennel Club)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 15 months or older
Registration – must be registered to participate, track scores and apply titles
Classes – Standard and Games
Levels –Novice, Intermediate, Supreme
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, seesaw, collapsed/pipe tunnel, pause table, weave poles, tire jump, single jump, and spread/broad jump.
Sample titles – Novice Level 2, Intermediate Level 3, Supreme Level 1

CPE (Canine Performance Events)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 15 months or older
Registration – must be registered to participate, track scores and apply titles
Classes – Standard, Colors, Wildcard, Snooker, Jackpot, FullHouse Jumpers
Levels – Regular/Veterans, Enthusiast, Specialist
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, seesaw, open/closed tunnel, pause table, weave poles, non-winged/winged jumps, tire jump, broad jump, and double jump.
Sample titles – ChST (Champion Standard), TCHJP (Enthusiast Champion Jackpot), SpChFH (Specialist Champion FullHouse)

UKI (UK Agility International)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 15 months or older
Registration – must be registered to participate, track scores and apply titles
Classes – Standard (Agility, Jumping, SpeedStakes) and Games (Gamblers, Snooker, Power & Speed), Snakes and Ladders)
Levels – Beginners, Novice, Senior, Champion
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, seesaw, open/closed tunnel, pause table, weave poles, tire jump, long jump, and spread jump.
Sample titles – BID (Beginner International Dog) IAC (International Agility Champion), SSN (Speed Stakes Novice), CSS (Champion of Speed Stakes)
[Toys can be used in exhibition only competition]

ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 18 months or older
Registration – must be registered to track scores and apply titles
Classes – Regular, Jumpers, Gamblers
Levels – Novice, Open, Elite
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, seesaw, open/closed tunnel, weave poles, non-winged/winged jumps, tire jump, and double jump.
Sample titles – ATCH (Agility Trial Champion), RS-O (Regular class, standard, novice), JV-O (Junior class, veterans, open), GJ-E (Gamblers class, junior, elite)

NADAC (North America Dog Agility Council)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 18 months or older
Registration – must be registered to track scores and apply titles
Classes – Jumping (Regular, Jumpers, Chances) and Non-Jumping (Hoopers, Touch N Go, Tunnelers, Weavers)
Levels –Novice, Open, Elite
Categories – Proficient, Skilled
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, open tunnel, hoops, weave poles, non-winged/winged jump
Sample titles – NCC (Novice, Chances), TN-O (Open, Tunnelers), S-WW-E (Elite, Proficient, Weavers), S-TGS-E (Elite, Skilled, TouchNGo), NATCH (NADAC Agility Trial Champion), MEDAL (NADAC Agility Trial Medalist

USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association)
Eligibility – any purebred or mixed breed dog 18 months or older
Registration – must be registered to participate, track scores and apply titles
Classes – Standard, Nonstandard (Gamblers, Jumpers, Relay, Snooker), Tournament
Levels –Starters, Advanced, Masters
Programs – Championship, Performance
Equipment – dog walk, A-frame, seesaw, collapsed/pipe tunnel, pause table, weave poles, jumps and hurdles
Sample titles – AD (Agility Dog), APS (Advanced Performance Standard), JCH (Jumpers Champion), PRCH (Performance Relay Champion)

Get Ready

One thing is for sure, people love agility – why else would there be so many different organizations and opportunities to participate? Investigate which one might be the right one for you and attend one of their events to see if you like the people and the competitive environment.  Then talk to folks to find out how to get the proper training and practice. Please feel free to recommend organizations and/or trainers and facilities in the comments section below or on Retriever Life’s Forum. We hope this has sparked your interest to go out and have more fun with your dog!

Category : Agility, What's In A Title

Lorraine

About the Author ()

Lorraine has owned Labradors for over 20 years and has bred them about half that time. A good day for Lorraine is experiencing the unbridled joy of her labs greeting her (in the morning, after work, or even after a short trip to the store), witnessing the pure happiness of her labs in the field retrieving or exploring on a hike, and snuggling with (or under) them on the couch at night. A great day is a good day (just described) plus having a litter of puppies around!

Leave a Reply

*