Agility is the most fun you will ever share with your dog. It is rare to see a dog that, once it is trained, does not love doing agility and indeed it is difficult during the early stages of training to restrain both dogs and handlers from progressing too rapidly.
Agility is a sequence of obstacles, which the dog and handler must try and negotiate without fault within a standard course time. It is a team sport where you are in charge of the strategy and your dog is responsible for the athleticism. Dogs leap over hurdles, power through tunnels, zip through slalom of upright poles and scale ramps of different sizes. The aim is to find the balance between the control of the dog and the speed of the performance. Scoring is based on faults, similar to equestrian show jumping. A dog that completes the obstacles correctly within the set time will earn a Clear Round. Dogs earn titles when they achieve a set number of clear rounds. See the Hall of Fame in the “News and Events” section for the titles earned by TOADS members. Agility Dog Association of Australia (ADAA) TOADS is affiliated with ADAA , which is one of a number of organisations within Australia conducting this sport. The goal of ADAA is to promote international style agility for all dogs, purebred or not.
Competitions organised by TOADS are run under the rules of ADAA. Any dog, whether purebred or not, which is 18 months or older may register with ADAA and compete in ADAA events. ADAA Rules and Regulations can be perused on the ADAA rules and regulations page and the ADAA competition rule book can downloaded from that page. You can also download the ADAA rule book directly from here.
TOADS conducts courses that offer you and your dog a structured introduction to the fun sport of agility in an environment that is both safe and fun. All courses will be based on positive training methods. The handler will be taught to shape their dog’s behaviour by using a system of rewards. The most common rewards used are food and toys. Any activity that your dog enjoys can be used as a form of reward. Remember to bring your dog’s favourite toy along. This form of reward based training can also be used to teach your dog’s tricks or obedience.We will teach you to “mark” a correct behaviour. So where you would normally say “good dog” we will use a short, sharp marker sound or word and then reward. After the dog has learned the behaviour we start to ask for more repetitions before marking and rewarding. This acts to wean down the dependence on food for the performance of the desired behaviour.
The classes will give you:
- The knowledge and skills needed to educate your dog using positive reinforcement
- Handling skills required to navigate your dog around an agility course
- A better relationships with your dog
Your dog will have fun and learn:
- How to learn
- Basic foundation behaviours needed to perform the obstacles
All levels are catered for from pup to mature dogs with various classes on offer.