Competing in Young Kennel Club Agility competitions

YKC member doing agility
There are various agility competions held throughout the UK each year, a full list of these can be found on Find a Show. For competitons which qualify for either Crufts or the Junior Open Agility World Championships please read below.

Crufts

We host various agility competition finals at Crufts with certain ways in which to qualify. Each individual competition follows different rules which are summarised below. Please ensure that you read each individual section to find out further information regarding restrictions and rules/regulations. These rules are for the Young Kennel Club competitions and must be read in conjunction with the specific agility regulations (H).

This section will only detail the competitions with qualifying classes. 

Rules for Young Kennel Club Agility at Crufts 2023

Classes
There are seven (7) different classes for members to enter:
  • The following three (3) classes have qualifiers at Kennel Club licenced shows which qualify members for the Crufts Finals:
    • Agility Dog of the Year
    • Under 18 years jumping
    • Young Kennel Club pairs

  • The following four (4) classes are Crufts only competitions and are entered by submitting points gained from licenced Kennel Club shows accumulated throughout the previous year:
    • Young Kennel Club Graduate Agility
    • Young Kennel Club 18-24 years Agility
    • Young Kennel Club 18-24 years Jumping
    • Young Kennel Club ABC (Anything But a Collie)

  • All seven classes have finals at Crufts
Handlers
Young Kennel Club members age categories will usually be split as follows: 
  • 6-11 years (handlers six years and up to, but not including 12th birthday)
  • 12 - 17 years (handlers 12 years and up to, but not including 18th birthday)
  • 18 –24 Years (handlers 18 years and up to, but not including 25th birthday)
Some classes are open to all age groups, whereas other classes maybe restricted to one or two age groups. Please refer to the specific class rules as to which competition each age range can enter.

When entering qualifiers, enter the age category that the member will be on the first day of the show hosting the qualifier.

When entering Crufts, enter the age category that the member will be on the first day of Crufts (you will be placed in the correct age category for Crufts on your invitation by the Young Kennel Club office so you should not have to worry about working out the dates).

If a member is disqualified due to unpaid subscription fees, the placing does not roll down (including any entitlement to qualification).

You must be a member of the Young Kennel Club before entering any Young Kennel Club classes.
Dogs
  • All competing dogs must be eighteen (18) calendar months of age or over on the day of competition
  • Dogs must be registered with The Kennel Club when entering Kennel Club licenced shows. Dogs can either be registered on the breed register or the activity register
  • Dogs must not wear any type of slip, half-slip collar or lead while competing. A flat, close fitting, leather or webbing collar is allowed but only if it has no attachments other than a plain identification panel as an integral part of the collar, i.e. not attached by a ring
  • To enter a Kennel Club licensed show you will need to have your dog measured to ensure you compete at the correct height for small, medium or intermediate (large dogs do not require measuring)
  • You will need a Kennel Club Agility Record book for the measurer to record your dog’s height category in. You can obtain a Kennel Club Agility Record Book from our online shop
  • Food shall not be carried in the hand or given to a dog in the ring
  • Once a dog has run with one handler in a competition, it may not compete with another handler in the same competition for the remainder of the qualifying year
Qualifiers 2022 (For Crufts 2023)
Further information to be provided shortly.
Judging criteria
  • All equipment will be as per Kennel Club H Regulations in force at the time and will be appropriate for the size of the dog
  • If you are entering a Young Kennel Club qualifier class at a Kennel Club licenced show, you must enter only full height option classes with that dog at the same show
  • Standard Kennel Club agility marking will apply
  • The ‘Young Kennel Club pairs’ competition will feature a deviation from standard marking which will be explained in the Young Kennel Club pairs rules section
  • An opportunity to ‘walk the course’ will be available before the competition commences. If a competition features multiple age groups and heights, all competitors will walk the course together and the course height will not be adjusted during this time. The course will be identical for all member age groups and dog heights

Rules for Young Kennel Club Agility Dog of the Year at Crufts 2023

The Young Kennel Club Agility Dog of the Year competition is the Young Kennel Club’s flagship agility event. The course will feature all three pieces of contact equipment. Those who qualify will go forward to the semi-final held at Crufts in the Young Kennel Club ring. The semi-final will decide the 18 dogs that will qualify for the Young Kennel Club Agility Dog of the Year final, held in the Main Arena at Crufts.

The qualifiers are open to dogs of all levels and courses will be of a grade 3 standard, not impossible for beginners, and not a walk in the park for grade 7 dogs.
Handlers
The following eight (8) categories will be open for members to compete in:
  • 6-11 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
  • 12-17 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
  • (18-24 years members are not able to compete in Young Kennel Club Agility Dog of the Year)
Once a handler has qualified a dog for the semi-final at Crufts, that dog may not enter any further Young Kennel Club agility Dog of the Year Heats. Once a handler has qualified two dogs for the semi-final, they may not enter any further heats with any dog. If you have already entered a show but have managed to qualify after the closing date, you may still compete in your entered class if you wish—there will be no roll down for this position.
Qualifcation
To qualify for Crufts, members must gain points by being placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Young Kennel Club Agility dog of the Year qualifying events. To achieve qualification, members must reach 30 points for the year. Any points gained will be for entry into Crufts the following year.
  • 1st place: 30 points
  • 2nd place: 15 points
  • 3rd place: 10 points
All points are reset to zero (0) on 1 January of each year. No points are carried over from previous years.

The points gained are for the dog and handler combination. If one member gains points with two different dogs, they are not combined. Please be aware that a handler may only qualify once for the agility Dog of the Year semi-final at Crufts, if the handler has qualified with two dogs, the handler may choose between one of the two qualified dogs to compete with in the final.

It should be noted that for the purposes of entering the competition at Crufts, handlers may enter a dog in “small” or “medium” or “intermediate” or “large” – handlers cannot enter a different dog in all four heights.

If either a dog or handler cannot compete at Crufts, neither can be substituted and the qualification place is forfeited.

If you have qualified with another dog, you may substitute this dog with another that you have qualified.
Adult Dog of the Year - semi-finals
  • The semi-final for the agility Dog of the Year competition is held at Crufts in the Young Kennel Club ring
  • You may only handle one dog in the semi-final – regardless of how many dogs you qualified with. You will have the choice over any dogs you have qualified to run in the semi-final
  • If a member who qualified for the agility Dog of the Year semi-final turns eighteen (18) before the first day of Crufts, they will be invited to compete in the 18-24 agility final at Crufts instead
  • If a member qualified as an 11 year old and turns 12 before the first day of Crufts, they will be invited to compete in the 12-17 age group
  • The top three (3) non-eliminated competitors in each category will go through to the final in the main arena to make a maximum of eighteen (18) finalists
  • Each of the eight (8) categories will have separate placings and prize-giving's
The final
  • The final for the agility Dog of the Year competition is held in the main arena at Crufts
  • In the final, the age and dog height categories are removed and all finalists compete for 1st and 2nd place (dogs will still compete at their appropriate height obstacles)

Rules for Young Kennel Club under 18s jumping at Crufts 2023

The Young Kennel Club under 18’s jumping competition is designed to showcase dogs competing over non-contact equipment. The qualifiers are open to dogs of all levels and courses will be grade 3 standard, not impossible for beginners, and not a walk in the park for grade 7 dogs.
Handlers

The following eight (8) categories will be open for members to compete in:

  • 6-11 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
  • 12-17 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
  • (18-24 Years members are not able to compete in Young Kennel Club agility Dog of the Year)

Once a handler has qualified a dog for the final at Crufts, that dog may not enter any further under 18s jumping Heats. Once a handler has qualified two dogs for the final, they may not enter any further heats with any dog. If you have already entered a show but have managed to qualify after the closing date, you may still compete in your entered class if you wish. There will be no roll down for this position.

Qualifcation

To qualify for Crufts, members must gain points by being placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Young Kennel Club under 18 jumping events. To achieve qualification, members must reach 30 points for the year. Any points gained will be for entry into Crufts the following year.

  • 1st place: 30 points
  • 2nd place: 15 points
  • 3rd place: 10 points
All points are reset to zero (0) on 1 January of each year. No points are carried over from previous years.

The points gained are for the dog and handler combination. If one member gains points with two different dogs, they are not combined. Please be aware that a handler may only qualify once for the under 18s jumping final at Crufts, if the handler has qualified with more than one dog, the handler may choose between one of the qualified dogs to compete with in the final.

It should be noted that for the purposes of entering the competition at Crufts, handlers may enter a dog in “small” or “medium” or “intermediate” or “large” – handlers cannot enter a different dog in all four heights.

If either a dog or handler cannot compete at Crufts, neither can be substituted and the qualification place is forfeited.

If you have qualified with another dog, you may substitute this dog with another that you have qualified.

Under 18s jumping
  • The final for the under 18s jumping competition is held at Crufts in the Young Kennel Club ring
  • You may only handle one dog in the final – regardless of how many dogs you qualified with. You will have the choice over any dogs you have qualified to run in the final
  • If a member who qualified for the under 18s jumping turns eighteen (18) before the first day of Crufts, they will be invited to compete in the 18-24 jumping final at Crufts instead
  • If a member qualified as an 11 year old and turns 12 before the first day of Crufts, they will be invited to compete in the 12-17 age group
  • Each of the eight (8) categories will have separate placings and prize-giving's
  • There will also be a prize for the overall winner and reserve dogs for all eight categories combined

Rules for Young Kennel Club pairs at Crufts 2023

The new Young Kennel Club pairs competition has replaced the Young Kennel Club teams competition. The competition is designed to offer more co-operative teamwork than its predecessor. The pairs competition will be open to three age groups.

Young Kennel Club pairs will technically be four separate competitions, one for each height (small, medium, intermediate and large) - only dogs of the same height can compete in a pair.
Handlers

The following twelve (12) categories will be open for members to compete in:

  • 6-11 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
  • 12-17 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
  • 18-24 years (small, medium, intermediate and large)
Pairs entry rules
To compete in Young Kennel Club Pairs, you must have the following:
  • Two handlers
  • Two dogs 

There will be three different age categories for this competition. A pair may be formed of a mixed-age category. The age of the oldest member of the pair will determine which category the pair must enter. e.g. Jim is nine years old and Carol is 13 years old.

If entering into a Young Kennel Club pairs competition, they would enter their pair (both Jim and Carol) into the 12-17 years age category.

Both handlers must be a Young Kennel Club member at the closing date of the qualifying show as specified in the show schedule.

Each height (small, medium, intermediate and large) is considered as a separate qualifier, you may only enter one age category per height.

Pairs competition rules

Young Kennel Club pairs will be run as one agility and one jumping round

  • The first dog will complete the agility section
  • Equipment may include: a frame, see-saw, dog walk, jumps, tunnels and weaves
  • The second dog will complete the jumping section
  • Equipment may include: weaves, jumps, tunnels, long jump, tire and a wall

(please note this is a special class, contact equipment can be used more than once and the judge does not have to use every piece of equipment listed here)

  • Each section should feature between 13 and 16 obstacles
  • You may choose after walking the course who will complete each section
  • As an exception, due to COVID, there will be no baton change, instead the two dogs will run two separate runs. The faults and times will be added together to give a score for the pair. The pair should still compete consecutively with the agility dog going first
  • The course will be different for the first and the second dogs, but may re-use some of the equipment from the first dog’s course

 Altered Kennel Club and additional rules

  • Elimination will score 100 faults and will be that dog’s final faults total (irrespective of how many faults were accumulated prior to this) the dog will no longer be marked but must complete the course

    Unless the pair are disqualified (see below) then the time will be recorded, even if both dogs are eliminated
  • The maximum total faults a team can score is 200 (two eliminated dogs)
  • The team will be disqualified if either dog fails to make a fair attempt at the course or either dog is deemed out of control
  • If as a result of the one of the competing dogs / handlers mistake, the timing is stopped before the course is completed, the team’s time will be recorded as either the course time or the time at which the clock was stopped, whichever is greater. If the timing equipment malfunctions, this shall be handled as if it was a normal class
Entry
  • A dog may only enter the Young Kennel Club pairs qualifier once
  • A handler may enter each height category as a separate qualifier
  • A handler must only enter one age category per height (the age category is dictated by the oldest member of the pair)
  • If you have already qualified in a height category you may not enter that Young Kennel Club pairs height category again that year. If you have qualified at a show after the closing date of another show you have already entered in the same height category, you may compete at that show only if the pairing is the same as the one that has qualified. Any other combination must forfeit their round
  • Once a handler is entered into an age category, they should only enter in that age category for any subsequent entries in Young Kennel Club pairs at that height (this is to avoid clashes later on)

EXAMPLE

Using the “large” dog height as an example

Dave: 8          
Jim: 9          
Daniel: 10           
Steph: 13            
Emily: 14              
Sarah: 23

If Dave(8) and Steph(13) pair up – they will pair into the 12-17 category.

If Dave wishes to enter another pair in the large dog height, he may only do so with either Steph or Emily (as they fit the 12-17 category).

Dave could not pair with Jim(9), Steph(13) and Sarah(23) at the same height qualifier.

Qualifcation

The first placed pair in each category (maximum of 12 pairs per qualifier) will qualify for the following year’s Crufts providing that both dogs were not eliminated (the pair’s total faults must be lower than 200). There will be a roll down if the first placed pair have already qualified.

  • Until members and dogs have qualified, they are free to swap and change pairs between qualifiers, however;
  • As soon as a pair has qualified for Crufts, those handlers and dogs are locked into that pairing and cannot compete in Young Kennel Club pairs qualifiers for that height again that year, or be part of another Young Kennel Club pairs pairing of that height
  • There can be no substitution of dog or handler under any circumstances please see below for the procedure of replacement pairs
  • A Young Kennel Club handler may enter once in each height of the pairs competition at Crufts
Broken pairs

If your pair becomes broken (either a dog can no longer run or one of the handlers no longer wishes to compete) immediately inform the Young Kennel Club office.

  • The member and dog who still wish to compete will go onto a waiting list to be joined with other members in a similar situation
  • The Young Kennel Club will re-pair any members who have been split up from their original pairing. This re-pairing will be done on a first come first served basis, the earlier you let the Young Kennel Club know, the more likely you will get another partner
  • The Young Kennel Club will re-pair members based on dog height only, i.e. we might re-pair a 20-year-old with an eight-year-old — this is not negotiable. If you are unhappy with your pairing you may withdraw from the Crufts final (you will not be repaired a second time - the person you left will be re-paired though)
  • You do not have to be re-paired, you may instead withdraw from the Crufts final. You may still not re-qualify with another pairing in that dog height
  • The member whose dog has been injured may switch to a new pair and attempt to requalify only if they have contacted the Young Kennel Club with written proof from their vet that this is the case and a Young Kennel Club have written back and agreed. (Email is fine)
  • A member that did not want to be part of that pairing anymore will not be allowed to requalify (unless it falls under extenuating circumstances, in which case, you must contact the Young Kennel Club for written permission)
Pairs final
  • The final for the Young Kennel Club pairs competition is held at Crufts in the Young Kennel Club ring
  • The final of each height category may or may not be on the same day at Crufts. (TBC)
  • You may only handle one dog in the final – and may only compete as part of one pair per height category
  • Age calculations may move a pair from one age category to the next, for example: if a pair qualified as in the 6-11 category and at least one member is 12 years old on the first day of Crufts, that pair will be invited to compete in the 12-17 age group
  • Each of the twelve (12) categories will have separate placings and prize-giving's

Qualifying heats for Crufts 2023

Young Kennel Club Agility Dog of The Year
Show name and address Dates
Wyre (Lancs) Agility Club
Myerscough College Equine Arena, PR3 0RY
26-27 March 2022
Wallingford Dog Training Club
Newbury Showground, RG18 9QZ
23-24 March 2022
Dartmoor Dog Training Club
Buckland Farm,TA21 9LN
07 May 2022
Dartford Dog Training Club
Orsett Showground, Rm16 3eu
04 June 2022
Lune Valley Dog Training Club
Westmorland County Showground, LA7 7NH
25 June - 3 July 2022
RVA  DTS (Cambs)
Peterborough Rugby Club, PE1 5XA
08 - 10 July 2022
East Lothian Dog Training Club 
Meadowmill Sports Centre, EH33 1LZ
09-10 July 2022
The Kennel Club - International Agility Festival
Rutland Showground
11-14 August 2022
Dogs In Need Agility Society
Suffolk Showground, Trinity Park, IP3 8UH
16 - 21 August 2022
Prestbury Park Datc
Cirencester Park, GL7 2BU
03-04 September 2022
Gleniffer Dog Training Club
Lanark Race Course, ML11 9GA
04 - 05 September 2022
Young Kennel Club Pairs
Show name and address Dates
Wallingford Dog Training Club
Newbury Showground, RG18 9QZ
23-24 March 2022
Dartford Dog Training Club
Orsett Showground, Rm16 3eu
04 June 2022
Lune Valley Dog Training Club
Westmorland County Showground, LA7 7NH
25 June - 3 July 2022
RVA  DTS (Cambs)
Peterborough Rugby Club, PE1 5XA
08 - 10 July 2022
East Lothian Dog Training Club 
Meadowmill Sports Centre, EH33 1LZ
09-10 July 2022
Derbyshire Dog Agility Club
Locko Park, DE21 7BW
29 -31 July 2022
The Kennel Club - International Agility Festival
Rutland Showground
11-14 August 2022
Prestbury Park Datc
Cirencester Park, GL7 2BU
03-04 September 2022
Gleniffer Dog Training Club
Lanark Race Course, ML11 9GA
04 - 05 September 2022
Young Kennel Club Under 18s Jumping
Show name and address Dates
Wallingford Dog Training Club
Newbury Showground, RG18 9QZ
23-24 March 2022
Dartford Dog Training Club
Orsett Showground, Rm16 3eu
04 June 2022
Lune Valley Dog Training Club
Westmorland County Showground, LA7 7NH
25 June - 3 July 2022
RVA  DTS (Cambs)
Peterborough Rugby Club, PE1 5XA
08 - 10 July 2022
Derbyshire Dog Agility Club
Locko Park, DE21 7BW
29 -31 July 2022
The Kennel Club - International Agility Festival
Rutland Showground
11-14 August 2022
Prestbury Park Datc
Cirencester Park, GL7 2BU
03-04 September 2022
Gleniffer Dog Training Club
Lanark Race Course, ML11 9GA
04 - 05 September 2022

Junior Open Agility World Championships

Each year we hand pick  an agility team to compete internationally as part of Agility Team GB at the Junior Open Agility World Championships event. Each year there is a different host nation. If you would like to find out more about the selection process and taking part, then visit the Agility Team GB page