Already competing in agility?

Dog running out of tunnel
BeatMedia © / The Kennel Club

Once you start competing in agility it can become addictive. Shows are held all over the country for each grade and height, giving you the opportunity to compete regularly and meet like-minded people.

As you enter different shows, you might find yourself bumping into the same competitors and making good friends with the people who take part in this sociable hobby.

We host and sponsor a variety of events throughout the year and these are suitable for dogs and handlers of all levels. Look at the list of qualifying heats for various prestigious competitions.

International Agility Festival

The International Agility Festival (IAF) which is sponsored by Skinner's Field & Trial takes place in August every year at Rutland Showground, Burley Park Way, Oakham, LE15 6US. It is The Kennel Club's biggest agility competition. Find out how to compete.

Olympia

One of the most important showcase events for agility in the UK takes place every December at Olympia's London International Horse Show. Every year, in qualifying heats at agility shows across the UK, the most talented agility dogs and handlers vie for a coveted invitation to compete at the Olympia finals. Read more about Agility at Olympia.

In 2014, Skinner's added its support to the Kennel Club Olympia Agility Stakes, and this much appreciated sponsorship continues in 2021. 

This exciting collaboration between The Kennel Club and Skinner's will ensure this event continues to remain a top class competition.

Read more on qualifying.

Discover Dogs

The grand finals of the large novice and medium ABC competitions are hosted at Discover Dogs. Winners of these classes are then invited to take part in an overall final which takes place at Crufts each year. Read more about agility at Discover Dogs.

Competitors can qualify by taking part in heats across the country and will gain points from being placed in them. The number of individuals selected (with the highest points) to compete will depend on which final you attend. 

Read more on qualifying.

Crufts

You can find the best and most spectacular displays of agility taking place in the main arena at Crufts. All four days are jam packed with nail-biting competitions.

The following competitions take place across the four days:

  • Kennel Club agility championships
  • Kennel Club 'British Open'
  • Kennel Club festival novice agility
  • Kennel Club team agility
  • Kennel Club singles agility
  • Kennel Club international agility
  • Kennel Club large novice ABC agility
  • Kennel Club medium ABC agility

International agility competitions

Each year The Kennel Club sends competitors to both the European Open Championships and the World Championships to represent the UK. Looking to represent the UK? Find out how to join Agility Team GB.

Agility Liaison Council

The Agility Liaison Council enables competitors and agility clubs to communicate with The Kennel Club. The council is a key channel for you to make positive changes to agility.

What does the Agility Liaison Council do?

The Agility Liaison Council is made up of 13 regional representatives from the eight regional areas, elected for a three-year term to act as a channel of communication between agility clubs, competitors and The Kennel Club. The Council was set up to represent the grassroots opinion within the activity at The Kennel Club, and to promote a better understanding among competitors of how The Kennel Club functions. It meets twice per year, and representatives hold area meetings prior to each council meeting to provide a platform for proposals and discussion items to be raised. The meetings also provide feedback from The Kennel Club on recent developments and decisions.

The Council reviews the agility regulations and advises The Kennel Club on any changes that may be needed, and is actively involved in strategic planning to enable agility to continue and flourish. Council proposals can result in fundamental changes to The Kennel Club's policy and we value the important work the councils do.

Council members are always interested in hearing the views and ideas of competitors, and will be seen competing at, judging or managing many shows during the year.

Becoming a liaison council representative

Representatives are elected for a period of three years and the current term of office of all Kennel Club liaison council representatives ends on 31 December 2021. 

Representatives are elected by Kennel Club registered societies and clubs which have an active interest in agility and have been registered at The Kennel Club for at least 12 months.

Agility Liaison Council meetings and agenda
Counties the liaison council serve

These are the liaison council regions and the counties they serve:

  • Scotland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Wales
  • North West England
    • Cheshire, Cumbria, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Isle of Man, Lancashire and Merseyside
  • North East England
    • County Durham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Northumberland, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and West Yorkshire
  • Midlands England
    • Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Rutland, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire
  • South East/East Anglia England    
    • Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Greater London, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, East Sussex and West Sussex
  • South/South West England
    • Berkshire, Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Somerset, Wiltshire
The Agility Liaison Council
Name and email address Area Phone number

Ms S Hawkswell

Scotland

07960 953925

Mr A Dornford-Smith

Northern Ireland

07817 217265

Mr M Cavill

Wales

07866 438719

Miss Rebecca Sargent

North West

 

Mr M Hallam

North West

07711 058910

Mr K Smith

 North East

07850 397684

Mrs E Laing-Kay

 North East

 

Ms Y Croxford

Midlands

01455 220245

Mrs J Gardner

Midlands

07787 686806

Mr S Chandler

South East and East Anglia

07772670086

Mr I MacDonald

South East and East Anglia

07810 353544 

Mr M Tait

South & South West

 

Miss L Olden

South & South West

01794 323037

Agility Warrant

An Agility Warrant will be issued on application by the registered owner at the time of qualification in respect of a dog that has obtained points in standard agility and jumping classes at championship, premier and open shows. At least 25% of the points must be gained in agility (as opposed to jumping) classes. Points will be awarded at any level but may not be gained in any part of the championship class. Points will also only be awarded where the dog has obtained a clear round within the course time.

The requirements

The requirements for the five levels of warrant, bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond are:

  • bronze 200 points (minimum of 50 points in agility)
  • silver 400 points (minimum of 100 points in agility)
  • gold 800 points (minimum of 200 points in agility)
  • platinum 1,200 points (minimum of 300 points in agility)
  • diamond 1,600 points (minimum of 400 points in agility)
What titles can you use after your dog's name once achieved?

The following titles may be used after the name of the dog on show entries and in catalogues.

  • bronze AW(B)
  • silver AW(S)
  • gold AW(G)
  • platinum AW(P)
  • diamond AW(D)
How are points awarded?

Points will be awarded as follows:

Standard agility classes
(clear rounds only)

Standard jumping classes
(clear rounds only)

1st place - 20 points

1st place - 10 points

2nd place - 19 points

2nd place - 9 points

3rd place - 18 points

3rd place - 8 points

4th place - 17 points

4th place - 7 points

5th place - 16 points

5th place - 6 points

6th place - 15 points

6th place - 5 points

7th place - 14 points

7th place - 4 points

8th place - 13 points

8th place - 3 points

9th place - 12 points

9th place - 2 points

10th place - 11 points

10th place - 1 point

Points for clear rounds

Points will also be awarded for clear rounds within the course time as follows:

  • standard agility classes - 2 points
  • standard jumping classes - 1 point

Where fewer than 10 places are awarded in any class, a competitor obtaining a clear round not in the places will be awarded the points applicable for a clear round in that class, i.e. 2 points for an agility class and 1 point for a jumping class.

How do I claim my award?

Firstly, remember to record your Agility Warrant points in an Agility Record Book which can be purchased in our online shop. 

Next, complete the Agility Warrant claim online form.

Still have questions?

Browse our frequently asked questions below.

Agility - frequently asked questions

1. Does a dog have to be measured to compete in a match?

The Kennel Club regulations for agility matches do not specify any requirements regarding dogs being measured. Although they do not have to be measured for special classes at limited shows, it is advised that dogs are measured before competing in a match.

2. Can I compete in a match class if my spouse is judging, but the dog is in my name?

There is no specific regulation that covers competing under a spouse at a match. However, we would advise caution about how it will be perceived.

3. Can I compete with the same dog in classes judged by another judge if my spouse is judging at the same show?

Yes, you can compete with your dog under a different judge that is not a spouse.

4. A handler is grade 1 and runs two grade 1 dogs. She wins out with one of the dogs and therefore is a grade 2 handler with one dog at grade 1 and one dog at grade 2.

Does the grade 1 dog skip to become a grade 2 dog? If not, does the handler have to run the grade 1 dog in a 1-2 combined class only until it wins out by itself?

This will partly relate to who owns the dog. If a friend or relative owns the dog and they have never done agility before, it will start at grade 1. You are correct in your assumption that the grade 2 handler has to run it in a combined 1-2 class.

In respect of your query that a grade 1 handler runs grade 2 dogs, again it depends on who owns the dogs. If the handler owns the dogs (or they are owned by the same non-agility person) then they both move up to grade 2. If two different non-agility people own the two dogs, then the initial scenario comes in and the grade 1 dog can only be handled in a combined 1-2 class.

5. A handler handles a dog all the way to grade 4 but never handled the dog at any of the shows when it won out into the next grade. However, the progression from grade 3 to 4 was based on points and this handler was responsible for some of these points, which made up the total for eligibility to be able to progress on points. Does this handler still qualify to run in grade 1 classes with a new grade 1 dog? 

The dog can progress on points it has won, regardless of who has handled it. It is not clear cut whether the handler can go back to grade 1, as you have said the dog was already grade 3 but not how it got there or who owned it. Therefore, if the handler won the dog into grade 3 initially they cannot then go back to grade 1 or grade 2.

6. I have been running a dog in agility competitions for a couple of years now and we are still in grade 1. I am just starting with my second dog and would like some clarification about progression.

As my first dog and I are currently still grade 1, I will run my second dog in grade 1 as well. If either moved into grade 2 I believe I could still run the other in grade 1. Is this correct? 

I am assuming that you own both dogs. If so, when either dog progresses to grade 2, the other dog will also progress to that grade. Once the dogs are in grade 2, any future progression will only relate to that dog. Once you progress to grade 2 you can no longer compete in grade 1.

7. The first 20 dogs ran and only two of those dogs 'ran' clear but both had time faults. The judge then went over to the scorer's tent and changed the course time to 46 secs, and the tickets were changed accordingly. A short while after this I returned and ran my dog still under the assumption that the course time was 46 secs. We went clear at 42.995 secs so were inside the 'new' course time, but unbeknownst to myself, the show manager received a complaint about the course time being reset, and had changed the course time back to the original time. 

After I had run I saw that the course times had been put back to the original time. I went to see the show manager and asked her why the course time was changed back again. I was told that a course time may not be changed. If it was not permissible for it to have been changed in the first place, surely the class should have been re-run? Surely the judge should have sought confirmation that a course time change is allowed (or not) before doing this?

The judge should not have changed the course time in the first place. The course length must be measured and the time calculated accordingly using a matrix of expected dog speeds.

Regulation H(1)(B)1.a(4) states: "The set time shall be stated by the judge before judging commences." I do not see why there would be a reason to re-run the course due to the course time being changed. Nothing within the course had been changed and handlers would have handled the course in the fastest manner for their dog. 

8. I own a grade 2 dog and I am the handler. I am getting a new dog. Which grade do I enter it in? (And variations on that question.)

If the owner is grade 2 (due to having won a dog up to grade 2) then the new dog will automatically be grade 2. For grade 2 and above it is only the dog's grade that makes a difference. A handler can handle above their grade. If you have a grade 1 owner but a grade 7 handler, then the dog could only compete in combined 1-2.

9. When running your dogs in agility, are you allowed to run with your dog lead clipped around your body or would the judge be entitled to eliminate you?

No, this is no longer allowed under The Kennel Club regulations. Regulation H(1)10.e states that competitors are prohibited from wearing bags or leads whilst under test – elimination.

10. I have a small Border Collie that competes in large. Does it have to jump the lower height?

No, every class must have jumps at full height, even if the society is offering the lower height option. Therefore, you can continue to compete your dog at 65 cm.

11. If taller dogs can jump at the lower height, what's to stop everyone from running at the lower height to increase their speed?

This will come down to personal choice. Some handlers won't choose to change their dogs to the lower height as it will change their timing, stride pattern etc. Additionally it is often the taller, heavier dogs that will benefit more from not having to jump so high, so it is more likely to be these dogs you will find at the lower height. Finally, all the Kennel Club qualifiers will be held at the full height, so there is an advantage to competing at the full height.

12. Will it be easy for the running orders to be printed off to reflect those who are running the lower height class and those who aren't?

Yes, this will be done by the show processor in a similar way to how they are done for any size type classes.

13. Can you enter lower height classes at some shows and then full height classes at others?

Yes, you can compete at either full height or lower height for the duration of the show covered by a specific schedule. Therefore if a show is over two weekends and during the week with different schedules, it would be possible to compete in lower height for one weekend and then full height for the rest of the show if it's under a different schedule.

14. Is the lower height just for hurdles? What about the other obstacles?

The lower height option allows the heights of the hurdles to be lowered, as well as the wall. It also allows for the length of the long jump and the width of the rising spread to be amended between the full height and lower height parts of a class. This should be done within the permissible range already allowed for in the regulations.

15. If a lower height class includes the tyre, how will that work if it is higher than the hurdles?

The measurement for the tyre is taken at the centre of the tyre. Therefore, the dog could still jump the same height through the tyre as it is jumping over the hurdles.

16. What are The Kennel Club's prestige events?

The Kennel Club prestige events are those held at premier shows; these are heats for Crufts, Olympia and Discover Dogs, such as Crufts singles, Crufts ABC etc.

17. Why can't prestige events be at the lower height?

There is a high value of the awards at these events, they have extra importance than standard classes and therefore a lower height is not applicable.

18. I don't understand what I have to do to qualify for championship classes? Has it changed?

If your wins from grade 6 to grade 7 were all at full height, then you can automatically enter championship classes. However if you have progressed to grade 7 in the lower height then the qualification requirements have changed. If your wins to grade 7 were at a lower height, then you will need additional wins at full height. You will need a total of four wins at full height in either grade 6 or 7, at least two of which must be agility.

19. Would my dog have to be measured to enter the lower height classes?

The lower height classes are not separate classes so measuring is required as normal for dogs entered in to small and medium classes.

20. If I have entered the lower height for a class and have missed my run and the jumps have been lowered/raised, can I still run in the class?

No, it is the competitors’ responsibility to be at the ring when required. It is recommended that shows indicate on their ring plan whether a class is starting with the lower height or full height.

21. If lower height is offered for a class, do both winners of the full height and lower height count towards progression?

Only if the show organisers are offering separate awards for the two heights, which must be detailed on the schedule.

22. If I have entered a show at the lower height but then progress up to the next grade before the 25-day cut-off point, can I change from lower height to full height when I submit my grade change?

No, you will have to compete at the same height that you originally entered the show. This is a class change rather than a grade change, which is not allowed once you have submitted your entry.

Next step - judging agility

Once you have competed, you might like to judge. Learn more about becoming an agility judge