CKT Dog Training

How to Compete

So You Want to Compete?

Before you start

So the training’s going well, your dog can complete a course, you think you’d like to try your hand at competing – if so, here’s some handy hints to get you started – but be warned, this agility thing can be addictive – if this time next year you have a fully caged van, a caravan and several dogs don’t say you weren’t warned!

 

  • We dogs must be registered with the Kennel Club (KC). If your dog is a pedigree then it was likely registered by the breeder – you need to know your dog’s registered name and their KC number – these can be found on the paperwork you received from the breeder.
Getting started

 

  • If your dog is a rescue, not a pedigree or not KC registered then you need to register them on the Kennel Club Activity Register. You need to choose a KC name for your dog (one that you are happy to be read out loud in public if you win anything at a show so choose wisely!). You have to submit several choices on the form in case your first name is already taken by another dog. For more information visit the KC website: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/3440

 

  • Before you compete with your dog it will need to be officially measured. We all fall into one of three categories – Small (like me), Medium or Large – you probably know what size your dog is from training, but it still needs to be measured – even if they are obviously large or very tiny. For your dog to be measured you will need a KC Agility Record Book – this book records all our details and the results of the measuring; it also provides you with a place to record all your results, clear rounds, places and wins. Record Books can often be bought from Secretaries at shows or from KC Measurers themselves, or you can buy them from the KC website at the address below:

 

http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/asp/shop/fullDisplay.asp?item=Record+Book+(Agility)&dept=publications

 

Record book
  • Your dog will need to be identified in its Record Book – either with a microchip number if it’s been micro-chipped, or with a photograph glued onto the details page of the book.

 

  • Measuring sessions take place at some shows and will often be advertised in their schedule. Some clubs will also hold measuring sessions at their venues – these are usually advertised at www.agilitynet.co.uk. The measuring session is held by two KC official measurers. We dogs aren’t actually measured using a tape measure, there are two metal hoops – one small and one medium – they place the hoop over our withers and if we fit under the small one like I did that we’re classed as “Small” and if we fit under the medium one we are “Medium” – if we don’t fit under either of them then we’re a “Large” dog. Your dog will need to stand still for a couple of minutes (with you holding them) – so it would be a useful thing to practice at home.  

 

  • Small and medium dogs cannot be measured until they are 15 months old and must be measured twice – the second measurement 12 – 24 months after the first one. Dogs who are obviously large can be measured before they are 15 months and only need to be measured once. There is much more information about measuring in the front of the Record Book.

So, your dog’s registered and measured – now what? Now you need to enter a show!

 

 

  • Shows usually need to be entered at least six weeks before they happen as they have a closing date, if it is a weekend show and you wish to camp at the show then they need entering as soon as the schedule comes out as the camping often fills up very quickly. Schedules can be found at www.agilitynet.co.uk. Alternatively you can register with IShowServices at www.ishowservices.com and enter many shows online.

 

  • All new handlers and their dogs start at Grade 1 – you can enter any classes that are for your dog’s height and grade. Classes are split into “Agility” and “Jumping” classes – “Agility” classes contain the contact equipment – A-frame, dog walk and seesaw – along with everything else; “Jumping” classes do not contain any contacts, but can have everything else – weaves, tunnels, tyre. There can also be “special” classes to enter such as helter-skelter, steeplechase, power and speed – the specific details of these classes can be found in the schedule. Normally you can enter 3 or 4 classes per dog each day of a show.

 

  • You will be sent your running orders a couple of weeks before the show – this is the paperwork that tells you when the classes are, in which ring and what your dog’s running order is (how early or late we run in the class). If you are camping at the show your running orders will usually contain a camping pass or confirmation that your camping spot is booked. You will need to bring this paperwork with you to the show so you know which ring to go to when.

 

  • Visit the Agility Club website at www.agilityclub.co.uk – this is a club for everyone competing in agility. Membership gives you a monthly magazine with show reports, articles and advice; there is also an annual show and a competition for Grade 1 & 2 dogs with the chance to compete in a final at the annual show. The Agility Club has a points competition every year for all us dogs of all grades and sizes – we are issued with points for any top ten places we gain at KC shows. There is a club league and you submit your points not only for yourself but also for your club – so become a member and remember to put CKT as your club – we need your points!

If you’ve got any questions about competing please ask one of your instructors or any already competing members of CKT – they’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. See you round the shows!