Agility Class Descriptions

Level Definitions:

Level 1 (Beginner)

Level 2 (Basic): Dog has not earned legs towards any titles, but is capable of short sequences with all regulation equipment (closed weaves, full height contacts)

Level 3 (Intermediate): Dog has at least one Novice Standard leg or equivalent and is competing at the novice level or higher.

Level 4 (Advanced): Dog is competing at the Excellent/Master level.

Not Sure What Level to Register For? Check out our Class Placement Guidelines


Session Classes

Level 1- Beginner, Obstacles and Basic Handling (Series of four 8-week classes)

Prerequisites: Dogs in this class must respond well to the commands sit, down, come and stay. Prior obedience training classes are recommended and/or Puppy Kindergarten. The dogs must be well-socialized and be able to work and focus in a group environment.  Agility is a physically demanding sport, and the performance demands of some obstacles (such as bending in the weave poles, landing from jumps, banging the teeter at full height, and performing a steep A‑frame) may not be safe for dogs whose growth plates haven’t closed. For the safety and long-term health of the dogs, all dogs entering the Level 1 class must be 6 months of age or older by the first night of class. Dogs under 6 months of age are encouraged to attend the Puppy classes.

Objectives: Dogs and handlers will be introduced to all the agility equipment used in AKC agility trials. Emphasis will be placed on obstacle performance as well as on teaching the handlers the necessary training skills. At the end of the 32-weeks, the dog should be able to perform all AKC-regulation obstacles at a competition level (including a complete closed set of 12 weave poles and having a solid criteria for the end of the contacts), and perform short sequences incorporating a variety of handling skills (turns, crosses, and sends).

Note: This is a 32-week class broken into four 8-week sessions. Students may sign up for the first 8-week session and then choose if they wish to continue in the subsequent 8-week sessions. Progress is continuous over the 32 weeks, so only dogs who have completed the previous 8 weeks may sign up for the next 8 weeks and so on.

Part A (1A):  The 2on2off contact performance behavior will be taught using a practice plank (planks will be available for sale at a minimal cost for home use) and proofed for handler motion and position. Modifications to the method will be made for dogs who will do running contacts. Wobble board will be introduced to accustom the dogs to moving equipment. Basic handling skills (turns, crosses, sends, and recalls) based on motion-based handling methods will be taught using jump wings (no bars) and later in the session will be incorporated into short handling exercises. Tunnel and table obstacles will be introduced.

Part B (1B): The contact performance will be transitioned to larger practice equipment with continued proofing for handler motion and position, and a low teeter board will be introduced. Combinations of handling skills will be practiced in short handling exercises using jump wings (no bars). The sequences will include typical agility combinations, such as wraps, serpentines, 270s, backsides, and pinwheels.

Part C (1C): Contact skills will be transitioned to lowered regulation equipment and the regulation teeter will be introduced. A-frame height and teeter drop height will be increased gradually. Contact practice will include advanced proofing for handler motion and location, and incorporation into short sequences. Weave poles will be introduced using a combination of the 2×2 and channel methods. Collected jumping will be taught over a single full height jump and handling skills will be transitioned to full height jumps in short sequences.

Part D (1D): Contacts will be raised to full height by the end of the session and incorporated into short sequences with continued proofing for handler motion and location. Weave skills will progress up to a regulation set of 12 poles incorporated into short sequences. Tire and spread jumps will be introduced. Combinations of handling skills in short sequences will be practiced using full height jumps. The sequences will include typical agility combinations, such as wraps, serpentines, 270s, backsides, and pinwheels.

Level 2 – Basic Handling and Sequencing Skills (8 weeks)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the WAG Level 1 class or approval of the Training Director. Dogs are expected to have a good working knowledge of the AKC obstacles and be able to consistently and correctly complete each obstacle in a short sequence.

Objectives: Emphasis will be placed on improving both the dog’s and handler’s basic agility skills. This includes obstacle discrimination, front crosses, sending to obstacles from a distance, pinwheels and challenging weave pole entries. There will be opportunity to repeat short sequences multiple times and to work on specific problem areas.

Level 3 – Intermediate/Competition (8 weeks)

Prerequisites: Successful completion of WAG Level 2 class and a qualifying leg from any agility organization, or have approval of the Training Director. Dogs should be actively competing in agility events in any venue. Dogs should be able to perform the weave poles with little intervention from the handler.

Objectives: This class will build on the basic skills learned in the Level 2 class. There will be more emphasis on longer and more challenging obstacle sequences, incorporating a mixture of the basic agility course designs. Handlers will be encouraged to try a variety of handling skills to determine what works best for their own dogs.

Level 4 – Advanced (8 weeks)

Prerequisites: Completion of WAG Level 3 class or approval of the Training Director. Dogs must be showing at the equivalent of the AKC Excellent level or higher. Dogs must be able to perform the weave poles unassisted, with the handler at a distance.

Objectives: This class is designed to improve teamwork. Multiple obstacle sequences will be presented with challenges that require the dog and handler to function smoothly as a team. The obstacle sequences in this class will be more challenging and of greater length than the sequences in the Level 3 class. This class is fast-paced and requires a high degree of interest and motivation from both the dog and handler.


Advanced Skills & Drills 

Class Description:
The focus of the class is on advanced skills (it is assumed handlers have some proficiency in basic skills such as front cross and rear cross). Each week a new skill or skills will be taught and practiced, then incorporated into a sequence. Skills will include: blind cross, Jaako turn, backsides, forced front cross, advanced serpentines (combined with backside, staggered, diagonal), and whiskey turn. Additional skills may also be included as appropriate, such as lateral sends, independent contacts, 270’s, threadles, tunnel breaks, sending to tunnels, off-side tunnel entrances, crosses before and after exiting a tunnel, contact/tunnel discrimination, and collection using a K turn. 

Prerequisite for this class

(1) Dog meets Level 3 requirements (competing and has earned at least one leg in a class that requires completion of a course in the order designed by the judge and that includes all equipment (contacts, weaves).
(2) Dog meets Level 2 requirements (has completed WAG’s Level 1 or equivalent, and dog can sequence and do all equipment but has not earned a leg towards a title yet) AND handler has previously run other dogs that would meet Level 3 requirements. 

Class sessions are one hour for eight weeks with a maximum of 5 dogs.


Basic 101 Agility 

Class Description:

This class is designed to build upon the basic foundation work. In this

class we will be adding more handling to your foundational exercises

including how to execute crosses (front, rear, and blind), call to hand,

sending ahead, backsides, wrapping, contacts (2o2o and/or running),

teeter and weaves (open channel for young dogs, closed for older dogs.)

Must be at least 1 year old to register.

Prerequisite for this class

Handler and puppy/dog have been introduced already to basic flatwork

including: 1) low jumps, 2) tunnels, and 3) travel board work.

Class sessions are one hour for eight weeks with a maximum of 5 dogs.