AKC allows purebred as well as non-purebred dogs to compete in agility.
All dogs fifteen (15) months of age or older that are registered with the American Kennel Club or that have
AKC Limited Registration, Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privileges (PAL/ILP) or an AKC
Canine Partners listing number, or approved Foundation Stock Service (FSS) breeds are eligible to participate in
Agility began as working trials for police dogs years ago in England. The working trials included
obedience, tracking, and agility. The police used Labrador Retrievers but civilians were invited to compete
in these trials.
The original equipment came from children's playgrounds and from coalmines:
Agility as a spectator sport began in Great Britain in 1978 with a small demonstration at the Crufts Dog Show after
which it became a very popular dog sport, and the fastest growing dog sport in the United States.
The first AKC agility trial was held in 1994 in Oklahoma and the first AKC Nationals was held two years later
- The teeter came from the school playground.
- The tunnel was a ventilation shaft from the coalmines.
- The tire was originally a hole in a wall.
- The chute was wire hoops with canvas and both dog and handler had to crawl the 30-foot length.
- The jumps were originally 36 inches tall.
- The A-frame was originally a 6-foot wall.
- The early agility competitions included a retrieve - later replaced with the pause table.
Agility is a timed event where the dog must execute a variety of jumps and obstacles in a specific order
without making errors. The handler directs the dog typically by running with the dog.
The courses are designed by the trial judge and approved in advance by AKC. The handler typically studies
the map and walks the course beforehand to memorize it and plan their strategy for guiding their dog through
the course in the least amount of time possible.
In AKC agility, there are currently four different types of competitions; Standard, Jumpers with Weaves,
Time 2 Beat, and FAST. The dogs compete in different jump heights depending on their height at the withers.
Placements are awarded in each jump height. There are three levels of competition; novice, open, and excellent.
The details about the types of competitions and titling requirements can be found at
The Idaho Capital City Kennel Club conducts agility trials in the spring, summer, and fall each
year. A four-day dog show is held every October at the Fairgrounds in Boise that includes AKC
For more agility information contact: