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).
or
(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.)

No age restriction.

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 9 dogs.

 

Combination Skills and Drills

Class Description:
The combination class will spend two weeks working on each of the following handling or obstacle skill areas, then will combine the skills for the last two weeks. Topics covered will be weaves, contacts, and crosses.

  • Weaves: Class will work towards independent weave pole performance including difficult entrances crosses in and out of weave poles, fading from weave poles, etc.
  • Contacts: Class will work on independent contact performance, contact performance (running, 2o/2o, 4-on, and other types) and the advantages/disadvantages of each – how to choose the right method for your dog.
  • Crosses: Class will cover the types of crosses (front crosses, rear crosses, blind crosses, “other” crosses) and what is right for you and your dog!  Advantages and disadvantages of each type of cross, where it is appropriate for certain crosses.

Prerequisite for this class

Dogs should be eligible for Level 2 WAG classes or higher (able to perform all equipment and to perform short sequences). This class is for improving skills and assumes dogs are able to weave and perform full height contact equipment, and that the team has a basic understanding of the various crosses.

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

 

Puppy Agility Foundation 

 Class Description:

This is an 8-week class designed for puppies and young dogs (5-15 months) who are destined to be the future agility stars.  We will use a series of motivational games to build teamwork, play, motivation, drive, and focus while teaching the puppies body awareness, self-control, foundation handling skills, and foundation obstacle skills.  Your puppy will be introduced to some basic agility training equipment such as travel boards, wobble boards, tunnels, tire, table, and jumps.  During this class we will be building handler training skills as well as developing the puppy’s learning skills. The class format will include 3 stations with 2-3 puppies per station. They will work ~15 minutes at each station. Puppies will take turns “working.” When not working they will be playing, going outside to potty, or resting in a crate. 

Prerequisite for this class

Handler is familiar with:

1) the use of a clicker,

2) practicing collar grabs,

3) begun recall work,

4) know 4-5 behaviors such as sit, down, paws up, spin, etc.

 

Non-Session (Workshop) Classes

What are Non-Session (Workshop) Classes?

WAG offers Non-Session (Workshop) Classes at times that won’t work for our regular weekly Session Classes. This allows WAG to offer additional classes with some scheduling flexibility while working around other building commitments, such as trials and meetings. Unlike our regular Session Classes, you sign up for individual dates and times as they fit your schedule, and pay only for the weeks for which you register. The per-class cost is the same as for our regular weekly Session Classes.

In addition to allowing scheduling flexibility, the Workshop Classes allow us to occasionally offer special topic classes that wouldn’t fit a normal 8-week class schedule.

What Workshop Classes are Available?

Workshop Class Info & Schedule

Check this web page frequently, as additional Workshop Class offerings will be added to the schedule throughout the year.

How Do Workshop Classes Work?

Class Selection: Select class date(s)/time(s) that fit your schedule from the Workshop Class Info & Schedule.

Pre-Registration: You must pre-register. E-mail the contact person indicated for that specific class. Include your name, your dog’s name and breed, and the specific class date(s)/time(s) you wish to sign up for. If you are not a current WAG student, tell us a little bit about your dog as far as level (is dog competing, and if so in what venue and at what level?).

Cancellations: If you need to cancel, please e-mail the contact person with at least 24 hours notice so that we can let someone else have your spot if there is a wait list.

*** No shows without prior notification will still owe WAG the class fee for the missed class. ***

Payment: Payment is due before class starts at the time each class is held. WAG does not have the capability to accept credit card payments or to make change for these classes. Please pay cash with exact change or by check (payable to “WAG”).

Class Fees: Workshop Class fees are $17 (member), $19 (non-member) per one-hour class unless otherwise noted.