What Is Agility
Agility was first introduced in the UK at Crufts in 1978 and has exploded in popularity since. The high intensity sport offers both handlers and dogs a fun and competitive form of exercise. The objective is for the handler to guide their dog through a unique obstacle course that has been designed by a judge.
This judge will then score the running party on how quickly and accurately they complete this course, with points being deducted for faults (faults can encompass anything from deviating from the course to going over the time limit for the run).
When guiding the dogs, the handlers must rely only on voice commands and visual cues to guide the dog through each obstacle. To do so the handler must get themselves in a position where they can best guide the dog through each obstacle before their dog clears the obstacle. This way, both handler and dog get a good work out when running the course.
Before each course run the handlers are allowed a short walk to get a feel for the course. This short walk also gives them an invaluable opportunity to strategise where they are going to place themselves during the run for optimum effectiveness at giving commands to the running dog.
The brackets for these competitions are generally decided by the size of the dog, with dogs competing against other dogs of similar sizes to ensure a fair run. The size categories are usually decided by the dog’s height.
Since the sport requires a lot of complex maneuvers being carried out by the dog, a lot of training is required. Training can begin from when the dog is a year old, however dogs may not compete in any agility until they are eighteen months old.
This training entails teaching the dogs how to properly handle each piece of equipment it will encounter in the ring and also to respond correctly to the voice commands and visual cues it will be receiving from the handler during the run.
The whole process takes a lot of time and concentration from both dog and handler; however the training sessions are also very fun for everyone involved, offer good stimulus for the dog and are a great way for dog and owner to bond with each other as well as to socialise with others who share their love of the sport.
People we support
Below are some fantastic athletes who run agility with their dogs and their testimonies about why they use Eden to give their dogs the competitive edge they need.
I compete and train nationally and internationally. My current competing dogs are Shelley, a 6 year old Jack Russell x Border Collie, and Clyde, a 2 year old Border Collie. Based in Somerset, we travel around the country and beyond going to shows and giving training events.
For the past 3 years I have been honoured to represent Great Britain as Team Captain at the European Opens. Internationally we have won numerous accolades including Silver and Bronze at IFCS, Silver and Bronze at IMCA and Bronze at WAO. Nationally we have won the Crufts British Open, multiple Crufts Championship Classes, as well as the RCC at Crufts. Between them, my dogs have 13 CCs and 6 RCCs.
“We are proud to be powered by Eden. The health and wellbeing of my dogs is my top priority. In our sport, nutrition is critical – split seconds often divide the top places in agility finals. My dogs thrive on Eden.”
We have been feeding our dogs Eden for several years now. Myself and the dogs are competing at the highest level in agility both in the UK & internationally representing Great Britain and Poland.
I’ve never been happier with how our dogs are performing than when they are on Eden Pet Foods. They are just so incredibly fit and healthy on the food, and simple things such the dogs coats look fantastic.
We particularly like the fact there is no wheat or grains in the foods, as well as suitably high Protein levels & the use of high-grade meat content (or fish content if it’s Fish Cuisine!), and this reassures us our dogs are getting exactly what they require for their high energy lifestyle.
“We are proud to work alongside Eden and feed our dogs on such high-quality dog food. Our agility results within the last four or five years have been some of the best of my career and although not down completely to just dog food, I thank Eden for helping support my dogs in reaching such high levels and playing a vital part of helping all our dogs numerous podium places!”
“I have also begun stocking eating food and have gone from selling to one or two students, to now supplying around 25 people within my local area and some further afield. All of my students and fellow dog owners who have switched to Eden are very happy also. They have reported that the dogs have maintained a suitable weight really enjoyed the food and are very healthy.”
Products we recommend
For Agility, Eden recommends the sporting and working dog range. A nutritionally complete food to help give your dog the energy it needs.