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New to Agility: Getting Started in Agility Training

1. Question: Progression can be on points.  Who is checking that I've got the right number of points to be in the class that I am?

Answer: All Kennel Club activities rely on the truthfulness and integrity of competitors and it's in your best interest to keep your agility record book up to date.  Once you've achieved the right number of points to progress to another Grade your record book must be signed by the society secretary at the first show entered at the new level.  This means there's no going back to a lower level.

2. Question: If I want my dog to progress on points, how do I collect my points?

Answer: The points are based on those used for the Agility Warrant, although there is no requirement for any of the points to be gained in agility classes (as opposed to jumping classes), 100 points must be gained at each level to progress to the next grade.

3. Question: How will my dog ever have more than 2 runs if it is only eligible to compete in one grade?

Answer: You are reliant on societies scheduling classes for you to enter.  It is up to each individual society to decide which classes they want to schedule.  You may end up with more choices by having classes open to various grades and they may be either Combined or Graded classes.

4. Question: What is the difference between a Graded class and a Combined class?

Answer: A Graded class may be open to one, or more, consecutive Grades with separate results for each Grade.  A combined class is open to more than one Grade and there is only one set of results for the whole class.

5. Question: If I am eligible for Grade 2, but win a Combined agility class with Grade 4 dogs competing, does this mean it is equivalent to having won a Grade 4 class?

Answer: No- when you gain an agility win, or three jumping wins, these progress you from your existing Grade only - you cannot skip Grades.

6. Question: Does the course have to be set at the standard for the lowest eligible Grade of dog?

Answer: The course design, and suitability, is entirely up to the judge who will take into consideration all the eligibility levels of dogs.  This is, of course, exactly what happens at present.

7. Question: I have won out of Grade 2 but handle other people's dogs that don't do agility.  What class can I do with them?

Answer: As the dog and owner have not won anything the dog is eligible for Grade 1, you as the handler are eligible for Grade 3 and you can therefore compete with the dog in a combined grade 1 - 3 class only.

8. Question: As a Grade 3 handler, what would happen if I handled a Grade 1 dog in a Combined Grade 1 - 3 class and it won?  What grade would it now be in?

Answer: If you won a combined class the dog would win out of its current grade, in this case from Grade 1 to Grade 2. 

9. Question: I am preparing my show schedule and have a combination of grades and combined classes, how should these be displayed on the schedule?

Answer: This is up to each individual Society, but an example is listed below:

            Class 1           Large Agility Grades 1, 2, 3 (Combined)

            Class 2           Large Agility Grades 3, 4, 5 (Graded)

            Class 3           Large Agility Grades 5, 6, 7 (Combined)