How To Survive Your First Agility Trial Part 2 – What to expect

measuring20tapeArrive early. You will need to have your dog measured before you run. And you will want plenty of time to get unloaded and relax a bit because you are going to be nervous. But the nerves are worth it, because agility is FUN!

After your dog is measured, you can check in, pick up your number, and get copies of the course maps. You’ll then be able to study the course you’ll be running that day and get an idea of how you will handle your dog.

Pay attention to what’s going on. Usually two rings will be running at the same time. When they change classes, you see the course builders go out to rebuild the new course and then the judge will have a “judges briefing” in the ring. Be sure to attend your judges briefing. The judges will tell you things that are pertinent to their course, like – do you sit or down on the table, when do you need to have your dog on the line, etc. The judges will also answer any questions you have concerning the course or the rules. Just ask! The judges are, for the most part, very friendly and they want you to succeed. After the judges briefing you will be allowed to walk the course (without your dog). They usually give you about 15 minutes to walk the course. Take advantage of this time to figure out how to run it with your dog, and also use this time to memorize the course. Walk it several times, then actually run it as if you had your dog with you.

(Part one) (part three)

~Thanks to Linda Freed at for the above entry~