Have you ever thought about doing an race? How about one where you run up and down inclines, weaving between steaks, and running threw some cloth tubes?
It’s that time again, the American Kennel Clubs National Agility Championship is being held this weekend in Reno, NV. The AKC National Agility Championship is a competition that requires participants to garner a certain number of points and qualifying rounds in local shows the preceding year to become eligible to participate. The Championship consists of five rounds to be completed over Saturday and Sunday. All dogs will compete in the first three rounds. Rounds four and five will be limited to the highest-scoring performers. After round five, the top dog in each jump height – 8”, 12”, 16”, 20”, 24” and 26” for the Regular classes and 4”, 8”, 12”, 16” and 20” for the Preferred classes – will win the title of National Agility Champion of 2012.
Competition will take place on Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is FREE and the event is open to the public. Agility is the AKC’s fastest growing sport, and reached one million entries in 2011. This exciting, athletic event requires conditioning, concentration, training and teamwork. Dog and handlers must negotiate a timed obstacle course, off-leash, striving for a perfect score of 100. Missed obstacles, knocked jumps or other mistakes result in penalties deducted from the total score.
Interesting side note Border collies make up 227 of the competitors. The breed’s athletic ability, intelligence and history of herding gives them an advantage. The champion will have the perfect blend of speed and attention to their owner’s command, but many dogs struggle with the latter. Others aren’t as fast but are experienced and obedient, so they make fewer, if any, mistakes. Each mistake in the qualifying rounds usually costs the dog five points. The best dogs go to the finals.
Rules are bountiful in this competition, every handler must know them and be sure that they are following them to a ‘T’. Here is the rule book in all its glory, Rule Book. I tried to read through it but there are so many different sections I didn’t know where to start. Let me just say that I now have a different view on the competitors in this event. The amount of training that both parties put in is amazing, and I have a new found respect for them.
If you want to stay up on the winners of this event here are the places you can do so:
AKC NAC Results on twitter
American Kennel Club on Facebook
AKC National Agility Championships on Facebook
I know I will be checking in on the action. I will also bring you the winners on Monday so you won’t have to worry about missing out. Best of luck to all the competitors, may the best pair win.