Where to Begin?
What organization do you suggest for someone just starting out in agility? My Tervuren and I have been training for about a year and we are ready to try competing!
Wonderful! Beginning competition is really exciting for you and your dog! As to what organization, there are several things to consider when choosing an organization, and everyone has a favorite, it seems like! I suggest trying as many as is feasible given location and funds, and if you really really REALLY want to do trials that aren’t in your local area (such as NADAC, or for those with little dogs, TDAA!) you might want to start your own club. If you’re having trouble locating local trials, try googility.com – they often have great local resources!
I have heard good things about all the organizations, although experiences vary. I think your best bet is to just wade in and try a couple different ones, or talk to your trainer to find the best fit for you and your dog.
In my area (central WI) we have almost entirely AKC trials and a person can run at least one weekend a month, or two if they don’t mind driving between 20 minutes up to 1 1/2 hours to a trial. I have found people to be helpful and friendly for the most part in AKC agility and I like being able to train and then work all the obstacles. The other venues are much further away and seem to offer few trials.
If you have it in your area, I always suggest CPE! The people are super friendly and if you want to start with some easy courses and not have to worry about teeters and weaves on your first time out, Level 1 in CPE is great. It gave me a ton more confidence about going out at trials.
For my first agility trial I ran in an ASCA venue and it was amazing, the people were supportive, the judge was amazing, and they have very spaced out equipment. CPE is also a very nice venue to run in that I ran in for my second show.