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Agility

Who makes the rules, and how to contact them

There are 5 major agility organizations in the United States. Each one has slightly different rules and requirements of Dog/handler. Titles/levels from the various organizations cannot be mixed and matched. For example, Even if you earn an advanced title in AKC, you must still start in the first level of USDAA. Although each of the organizations uses most of the same obstacles, there are a few that are unique to one or the other, and there might be some slight differences in the obstacle specifications for the different organizations.

  • American Kennel Club (AKC) offers agility to both mixed breeds and pure-bred dogs. AKC has less stringent obstacles and qualifying requirements, but smaller courses than USDAA. It is a good "in-between" organization for many handlers.
  • Canine Performance Events (CPE) offers agility to both mixed breeds and pure-bred dogs. The courses are noted for smooth flowing courses. The equipment standards are similar to AKC. It offers a multitude of titles in 5 competitive levels, including classes for junior handlers and older dogs too.
  • United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. (USDAA) offers agility to both mixed breeds and pure-bred dogs. The obstacles are slightly more difficult (more narrow planks, higher jump heights, and smaller tire size. The qualifying requirements are very strict. Some dogs may also have a hard time clearing the higher jumps.
  • United Kennel Club (UKC) offers agility to both mixed breeds and pure-bred dogs. UKC is known for demanding more precision and control. UKC offers lower height and speed standards. Their philosophy is more to make agility available to anyone regardless of physical abilities, and all dogs, no matter what their breed disadvantages are.
  • North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) offers agility to both mixed breeds and pure-bred dogs. NADAC offers more moderate jump heights and safe courses, and uses the least amount of obstacles.
  • Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) is not just for Australian Shepherds. It welcomes all breeds, including mixed breeds. It's rules are similar to NADAC.