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Waggin' Tails Agility Program

The Agility Course Outline

The overall program goal is to prepare you to successfully compete in USDAA, NADAC, and AKC trials.  Each level teaches both obstacle skills and handling skills. Each level also has a skills test that you and your dog must pass in order to move up to the next level.

Level 1 - "Introduction to Agility Obstacles" - on leash
  • Learn and practice basic obedience skills needed for agility: sit, down, stay, come, target, and hand touch.
  • Introduce dogs to the agility obstacles. Everything is started out with easy progressive steps. The jumps are low, the tunnel is squished up, we even have special "puppy" equipment for beginners to learn on.
  • Start basic course handling skills like clear and well timed hand/voice signals, running converging paths, lead outs, side changes on the flat, and sequencing 2 obstacles together.
  • To move up to level 2, you must attend all 6 weeks of class and your dog must be able to perform all the obstacles willingly.

Level 2 - "Obstacle Proficiency and Beginning Sequencing" - some off leash required

  • Teach dogs independent obstacle performance. Focus is on creating safe, confident, fast, and accurate obstacle skills.
  • Build teamwork on short sequences working on confidence, speed, timing, body language, voice cues, distance, and distractions. Learn and practice sequencing 2-4 obstacles together, side changes, and commonly seen easy patterns.
  • To move up to Level 3, your dog must be able to safely, independently, and accurately perform all the regulation equipment from various angles with and without you by his side. Your dog must also be reasonably reliable off leash.

Level 3 - "Intermediate Sequencing" - off leash

  • Continue improving individual obstacle skills emphasizing distance work and distraction proofing.
  • Teach handling maneuvers required for longer more complicated sequences. Focus is on smooth flow, speed, accuracy, and tight turns.
  • To move up to level 4, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency on a list of handling skills at a basic level. Your dog must also be reasonably reliable off leash.
Level 4 - "Advanced Sequencing" - off leash
  • Continue improving individual obstacle skills focusing on speed, accuracy, distance, and distractions. Continue practicing handling skills to improve flow, speed, accuracy, and tight turns on any type of challenge.
  • Teach more difficult handling skills and strategies for competition courses. Focus is on distance skills, smooth handling, and full length courses.
  • Learn rules and strategies for the different games offered at trials.
  • To move up to level 5, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency on a longer list of handling skills at a more advanced level. Your dog must also be reasonably reliable off leash.
Level 5 - "Competition Coaching" - off leash
  • This level focuses on more distractions, working at a distance, improving teamwork, practicing games skills, increasing efficiency on course, and anything else we can think of to prepare you and keep you prepared for competition.
  • We generally alternate weekly between running full courses and practicing skills on more focused exercises.