Attending your first agility show

Dog jumping over green and white jump
BeatMedia © / The Kennel Club

Once you are ready to begin competing in agility, the first step is to fill out an entry form from a schedule. 

Find out more about both of these below.

Schedule

A schedule is a small booklet of information detailing the show’s information and includes the entry form. It will list all the classes available and the judges who are judging the classes, the secretary’s information, the class definitions, the venue address and much more. These can be obtained free of charge from the secretary or by going to an online entry database such as Agility Plaza, Agility Shows Online, First Place Processing or from Agilitynet.

Find a Show enables you to find a list of agility shows in your area and contact details of the secretary who can give you information about entering.

There are three different size categories (small, medium or large) for competing dogs. Clubs may schedule classes for one, some, or all of these sizes. Before you enter a show, your dog must be officially measured.

Entry form

To enter a show, you will need to find your way to the right part of the schedule, which has the entry form. From there you will need to select which class, or classes, you would like to enter - the schedule will always offer detailed definitions of each class. 

Signing the entry form is important as it forms the contract between yourself and the society. If the dog is jointly owned, both owners should sign the entry form unless one of the parties has the written permission of the other to sign on their behalf. By signing, you are declaring that your dog is healthy and fit to take part in the show, and that you will abide by The Kennel Club's rules and regulations.

Before you attend your first show

There are a number of things you should remember to do before attending your first show. 

Checklist of things to do

You will be sent a ring card prior to the show which details the classes you have entered, the number of dogs in the class and the running order for each class.

Before the show you should:

  • post your entry form together with your entry fee to the secretary before the closing date or enter your dog online via an online entry system
  • groom and prepare your dog
  • record details of any shows and classes entered - you may need this information in readiness for completing other award paperwork such as the Agility Warrant
  • if your dog is showing any signs of illness, do not take it to the show
  • obtain your show passes
  • read your regulation book
  • make sure your dog is measured
  • if you have made a friend at training or know someone who has exhibited before, ask them to attend with you so you can ask them any questions you may have
Things to take to the show
  • Water bowl and water
  • Food (both for yourself and your dog!)
  • Agility record book
  • Waterproof clothing (if the show is to be held outdoors)
  • Clothes for the day
  • Money
  • A fold-up chair - shows will not have chairs available and if you are on your feet all day you may become tired
  • If you posted your entry, take your proof of posting, or if you entered online, print out the confirmation email you received
  • Car park pass, if applicable
  • Entry ticket and pass - please note that not all shows issue tickets or passes, so please check the schedule to find out. However, you should have received your running orders and these should be taken to the show

What to expect at the show

When you arrive at the show, you will enter a whole new world surrounded by dog showing enthusiasts. Here are some tips for making the most of your first agility show:

  • Arrive at the showground/venue in plenty of time to find your bearings
  • It's advisable to walk the course so that you are familiar with it once it's your turn to compete. This needs to be done before the class starts, so get there early
  • Keep an eye on the judging and don't miss your class or running order
  • Speak to fellow competitors and learn more about agility
  • Look around the show - you will find that there is so much to discover and learn
  • Always clean up after your dog
  • Always leave showgrounds and venues clean and tidy

Next step - competing in agility

Once you have attended your first agility show, you will have taken your first step towards becoming a competitor. Learn more about competing in agility.