An overview of the most popular dog agility sanctioning organizations in the USA.
AKC - American Kennel Club
Eligibility: Sound dogs 15 months of age or older. Blind or deaf dogs and canine amputees may not compete.
Jump Heights: 8', 12", 16", 20", 24". To be consistent with some other organizations, dogs measuring into 24" can optionally jump 26". Preferred dogs jump 4" lower.
Course Times: Range from 1.85 YPS (8" dogs in Novice Standard) to 3.75 YPS (26" dogs, Excellent JWW). Very do-able for an efficient, moderate-speed dog.
Classes Offered: Standard, Jumpers with Weaves (JWW), FAST (strategy/distance challenge), Time2Beat (T2B - a single-level speed challenge - the only AKC class scored as time + faults)
Levels: Novice, Open and Excellent. Novice and Excellent are split into A and B levels. Novice A is for teams who have never earned an agility title. Excellent A is for dogs working towards their Excellent title in a class, B is for dogs who are working towards their Masters titles and beyond.
Divisions: Standard and Preferred. Preferred dogs jump one jump height lower and receive a little additional time.
Championship Requirements: MACH - 750 points Excellent B Standard/Jumpers w Weaves plus 20 double Q's (Qualifying in JWW and Standard on the same day.) There is also a PACH (same, for Preferred dogs), a PAX (20 Double Q's only - for Preferred dogs) and several other awards for special achievments.
Equipment Used: Jumps (Single bar, panel, broad jump, double, triple), Teeter, A-frame, Dogwalk, Weaves, Open tunnel, Chute, Table. The double is a parallel double (both bars the same height). No particular position is required on the table. A-frame and Dogwalk must be slatted, rubber contacts are allowed/.The tire is set one jump height lower than other jumps on course.
Training in the Ring Allowed? No. However if your dog gets tangled in the chute or has a nasty flyoff on the teeter, the judge may allow you to reattempt it, as long as you leave the ring immediately afterwards.
Local Trials? Yes. Many trials both indoors and outdoors throughout the NY/NJ/CT/PA area.
Skills You Need to Succeed: Consistent equipment skills, good teamwork and smooth handling. AKC faults teams for runouts and refusals (dog running past the next obstacle in sequence or turning their back on it) even at the Novice level so smooth teamwork is a "must."
Official Web Site: http://www.akc.org/
CPE - Canine Performance Events
Eligibility: Dogs 15 months or older which are not in season, blind in both eyes, aggressive or lame. Dogs who are deaf or blind in one eye can compete. Canine amputees may be able to compete - a letter from a veterinarian and a trainer or CPE judge must accompany the registration form. Wolves, wolf hybrids, coyotes and coyote hybrids are not allowed.
Jump Heights:4", 8", 12", 16" 20", 24".
Course Times: Range from 2-2.5 YPS (Small dogs Standard/Colors/Wildcard Level 1) to 3.5-4 YPS (Large dogs, Jumpers Levels 4/5/C)
Classes Offered: Standard, Colors, Wildcard, FullHouse (a point accumulation game), Jumpers, Jackpot (like Gamblers) and Snooker.
Levels: Levels 1 (beginners) through 5 and level C (Championship) for dogs seeking to earn a
C-ATE. Levels 4 and 5 run the same courses and are scored the same - level 5 is for dogs who have completed level 4 titles and are going for class championships and/or their C-ATCH. Qualifying runs at level C cannot have any faults.
Divisions: Regular, Specialist and Enthusiast. Specialists and Enthusiasts get a lower jump height, additional time and lower point requirements in games classes
Championship Requirements: C-ATCH - 5 Q's from each of the 6 games classes at Level 5 and 10 Q's from Standard. Enthusiasts (CT-ATCH) only need to complete requirements from 6 classes total, Specialists (CS-ATCH) from 5, as long as they have a total 40 Q's from Level 5. The C-ATE requires 5000 points at Level C, including 500 from Standard, Jackpot and Snooker, 400 from Fullhouse Jumpers and Wildcard, 300 from Colors, and an additional 2000 from the handler's choice. Enthusiasts (CT-ATE) are only required to earn 4000 points, Specialists (CS-ATE) 3000.
Equipment Used: A-Frame, Dogwalk, Teeter (not in L1), Weaves (none in L1), jumps, double jump (ascending spread), triple, tire, tunnels. The table is sometimes used to stop time in games.
Training in the Ring Allowed? No. However you can run your dog "FEO" (For Exhibition Only - not scored) on leash as long as you do so SAFELY.
Local Trials? Many throughout the NY/NJ/CT/PA area.
Skills You Need to Succeed: CPE offers advanced goals for dogs of all speeds and at all levels of training with a wide variety of skill sets, however steady "all-around" teams with consistent equipment performance and the ability to work well both close and at a distance will reach those goals faster!
Official Web Site: http://www.k9cpe.com/
NADAC - North American Dog Agility Council
Eligibility: Healthy, trained dogs 18 mos of age or older.
Jump Heights: 8", 12", 16", 20". Veteran, Skilled and Junior Handler dogs jump 4" lower.
Course Times: 2.75-5 YPS for large dogs, depending on the class and level. Medium dogs and large Veteran/JH dogs get 10% more time, small dogs and medium Veteran/JH dogs get 20% more time.
Classes Offered: Regular (standard), Jumpers, Tunnelers (all tunnels), Weavers (weaves tunnels and hoops), Hoopers, Touch 'N' Go (contacts, tunnels and hoops), Chances (distance challenge.)
Levels: Novice, Open and Elite
Divisions: Regular, Veteran (handler and/or dog) and Junior Handler. There is no veteran division for dogs in the non-jumping classes (tunnelers, weavers, hoopers, touch 'n' go), but veteran handlers running in the veteran division can get a time/height allowance.
Categories: Proficient and Skilled. Skilled dogs jump 4" lower
Championship Requirements: NATCH or NATCH-S (Skilled dogs) - Elite Jumpers, Chances and Regular titles, plus an additional 200 points in Regular and an additional 100 points each in Chances and Jumpers. There are also Versatility titles, Lifetime Points awards, and recognition for other special achievments at all three levels.
Equipment Used: Dogwalk, Aframe, Tunnels (open), Jumps (no spreads), Weaves, Hoops (a ground-speed obstacle.) Contacts must be slatless, rubber contacts preferred.
Training in the Ring Allowed? Yes. NADAC allows you to train one thing in the ring per run. Training runs are not scored.
Local Trials? Many throughout New Jersey, New York and CT. Trials that don't fill OCCASIONALLY allow day-of-trial entries, however that's at the club/trial secretary's discretion.
Skills You Need to Succeed: Speed, Distance skills, Obstacle discriminations. NADAC standard course times are quite aggressive - moderate and slower dogs may find it difficult to make time in the upper levels. Distance skills are needed for the Chances class.
Official Web Site: http://www.nadac.com/
USDAA - United States Dog Agility Association
Eligibility: Dogs 18 months of age or older.
Jump Heights: 12", 16", 22", 26". Jump height cutoffs are higher than other US agility organizations - dogs don't jump less than their height at the withers. Performance dogs jump one height lower (8" for dogs who measure into the 12" category.)
Course Times: Range from 2-2.25 YPS to 3-3.30 YPS.
Classes Offered: Standard, Pairs (a 2 person relay), Jumpers, Gamblers, Snooker, occasionally Steeplechase.
Levels: Starters/Novice, Advanced, Masters
Programs: Championship, Performance and Junior Handler.
Equipment Used: A-frame (set to 6'3" for large dogs in the Championship program), Dogwalk, Teeter, Tire, Jumps, Double jump, Chute, Open tunnels, Table (dog must do a down on the table in Standard class.), weave poles, extended spread jump (triple - for large dogs only.) No spread jumps for Performance dogs.
Training in the Ring Allowed? No.
Local Trials? Yes - while not as plentiful as AKC, CPE and NADAC trials, there are a number of USDAA trials in NJ and NY, as well as PA and MA.
Skills You Need to Succeed: Course times are not extremely tight, but combined with the technicality of higher level courses moderate-speed dogs might find them difficult to attain. Solid equipment skills, speed, and the ability to work well both close and at a distance are the ideal combination.
Official Web Site: http://www.usdaa.com/
DOCNA - Dogs On Course in North America
Eligibility: Healthy dogs, 12 months and over (15 months and over for Competition division.). Physically challenged dogs, such as canine amputees and dogs with visual or hearing challenges that can compete safely may participate in Select, Veteran, Grand Veteran or JH divisions.
Jump Heights: Competition division: 8", 12", 16", 20", 24". Select, JH and Veteran: 4", 8", 12", 16", 20". Grand Veteran: 4", 8", 12", 16".
Course Times: 2.15- 3.55 YPS.
Classes Offered: Standard, Jumpers, Traditional Gamblers, Strategic Time Gamble, Snakes and Ladders (contacts, tunnels and weaves), Trigility (team strategy game.)
Levels: Beginner, Intern, Specialist. Until 2/1/2013, dogs may be able to "grandfather" into SOME classes at a higher level than beginner based upon achievments in other organizations.
Divisions: Competition, Select, Veteran, Grand Veteran (10 and over), Junior Handler. Non-competition divisions have lower jump heights and additional time.
Championship Requirements: Superior performance is recognized for all levels and all classes.
Equipment Used: A-frame, Dogwalk (12' or 8' planks), Teeter, Open Tunnel, Chute, Tire, Jumps (winged/wingless), Weave poles, Double jump (specialist/intern level and competition/select divisions only. Parallel for competition, ascending for Select.), Triple jump (Competition Specialist only.) Contacts may be either slatted or slatless but can't be mixed in the same ring (except for the teeter.) Rubber contacts can't have slats.
Local Trials? Not in the immediate area, but a few in PA and upstate NY
Training in the Ring Allowed? Yes, as long as it's done to address a specific problem that occurred during the run and the flow of the course is maintained. Dogs can also run FEO (For Exhibition Only - not scored)
Skills You Need to Succeed: To be successfull in all classes, an all-around versitile team that includes teamwork, distance skills, strategic planning and speed. DOCNA recognizes achievments regardless of your goals and is a "something for everyone" organization.
Official Web Site: http://www.docna.com/
TDAA - Teacup Dogs Agility Association
Overview: TDAA is agility specifically for small dogs.
Eligibility: Dogs 17" or less at the withers and at least 12 mos of age with no apparent injuries, lameness or bandages. Blind dogs may not participate.
Jump Heights: 4", 8", 12", 16"
Course Times: Course times are generous, ranging 1.3 yps (smallest dogs in beginners) to 2.3yps.
Classes Offered: Standard and games. TDAA trials can offer any games that are recognizd by other agility organizations.
Levels: Beginning, Intermediate and Superior for standard classes, levels I-III in Games classes. Dogs can be grandfathered into starting in higher levels if they have advanced titles from other organizations.
Divisions: Regular and Veterans. Veteran dogs get additional time.
Championship Requirements: TaCh - Superior title (TaSD) and Games III (TG3) plus 10 additional qualifying scores in Superior standard, and 10 additional Games III scores in at least 5 different games.
Equipment Used: For the most part, TDAA obstacles are scaled-down versions of agility obstacles used by other organizations. Regular equipment can be used as long is it can be set to the appropriate heights.. Bar jumps (bars 30-48" wide), wing jumps, tire (16"-24" interior), table (6" or 12" high, 30"-36" square), weaves, chute (8 ft long), dogwalk (8, 10 or 12' planks, a-frame (6.8', 7', 8' or -9' sides, apex at 5' for 9' planks) , teeter (8', 10' or 12 ft plank), open tunnel (16" -24" diameter). Slats optional on contacts, rubber contacts are allowed.
Training in the Ring Allowed? No.
Local Trials? There are a few trials in PA and MA and OH.
Skills You Need to Succeed: A small dog! If you're running a dog who's near 17", keep in mind that there won't be much distance between obstacles, and the inner diameter of the tire/tunnels may only be 16".
Official Web Site: http://www.k9tdaa.com/
UKI - UK Agility International
Eligibility: Dogs 18 months and older. Dogs 15-18 months can compete in Nursery and Speed Stakes.
Jump Heights: 8", 12", 16", 20", 22", 26". There is a 4" height for the small dogs running inNursery and Select.
Classes Offered: Agility, Jumping, Gamblers, Snooker, Power and Speed, Snakes and Ladders, Speedstakes (Steeplechase - just jumps and open tunnels). There are also some fun classes, including Pairs, Team and Knockout, and a Nursery class for dogs 15-18 mos.
Levels: Beginner, Novice, Senior, Champ. Dogs competing in other organizations have to start at the equivalent UKI level, according to the highest standard class level they've achieved elsewhere.
Divisions: Regular, Select. Select dogs jump 1 height lower, have a lower A-frame and no spread jumps.
Programs: International and Speed Stakes
Championship Requirements: IAC (International Agility Champion) - 60 points at Champion level in the International program, including 12 points from agility, 12 points from jumping and 12 points from a games class. CSS (Champion of Speed Stakes) - 60 points from the SpeedStakes program at Champion level.
Equipment Used: A-frame, Dogwalk, Teeter, Weave Poles, Tunnels, Chute, Jumps, Spread jumps, Tire, Broad Jump, Table (down position),
Training in the Ring Allowed? Yes - you can run as a training run and even bring a toy into the ring.
Local Trials? UKI is still very new in the USA - there are a few trials in PA and an occasional sanctioned match in NJ.
Skills You Need to Succeed: UKI's mission statement is to "provide agility dog competitions that are designed with all competitors in mind; enabling all dogs to achieve a level of success, while promoting high standards in competing, training and judging of agility dogs."
Official Web Site: http://www.ukagilityinternational.com/
UKC - United Kennel Club
Eligibility: Dogs 12 mos or older who are not blind, lame, ill, pregnant or lactating. Canine amputees and deaf dogs are allowed if they can perform safely.
Course Times: Very generous. UKC agility is more about precision than speed.
Levels: AGI, AGII, AGIII.
Championship Requirements: UACH - 100 points, at least 40 each from AGI B and AGII B classes. Higher scores earn more points.
Equipment Used: A-frame, Dogwalk, teeter, jumps, open/closed tunnels and many obstacles unique to UKC, like the sway bridge, swing plank, crawl tunnel, pause box, water hurdle, hoop tunnel, picket fence, log hurdle and platform jump,
Training in the Ring Allowed? No
Local Trials? UKC agility is not popular in this area. The closest trials are in Ohio, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania
Skills You Need to Succeed: Precise obstacle performance, familiarity with UKC obstacles.
Official Web Site: http://www.ukcdogs.com/