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Danish Delight

Probably the best agility in the world?

Agility first arrived in Denmark in 1987, many years after its debut in the UK. Johanna Allanach remembers seeing short clips from Crufts on BBC Europe, and eagerly awaited its arrival in Denmark. Now many years later agility has progressed, and it is one of the most popular dog sports in Denmark.

There are at least three different societies that hold competitions. I will concentrate on the Danish Kennel Club (FCI) recognised competitions.

Two of the other clubs here in Denmark that register dogs, but on a much smaller scale, and they are usually frowned upon. If they had their own World Agility Championships, I quite honestly don't think they would let us come with our 'FCI' dogs.

Each dog has a Red Agility Record Book. If it is a pedigree dog, it has its Pedigree Number on the book. If it is a mixed breed, the dog is given an Agility Number from the Danish Kennel Club. In other words, the dog is on the Working Register. My Poodlington Terrier, for instance, had number #136. You can compete in Agility/Obedience but can't show or register puppies. Nor can they represent Denmark on the FCI World Agility Team.

Types of classes
There are two types of official classes - Agility and Jumping. Usually at a show there will be both these classes as well as two Open classes, also in Jumping and Agility.

Agility Class (A) which is split into four levels:-

  • A1 - Basically  for the beginners, usually a technically easy course with one or two changes in handling side, but basically a flowing course.
  • A2 - Usually of an open level.
  • A3 - A technically challenging course for the advanced dogs.
  • AW - The same course as the A3

I will explain the reason for this. All dogs start in A1 regardless of handler experience. To move the dog into A2 you need 3 'A1 points.' A point is gained for every round with 5.99 faults or less. This will be changed to 0 faults from next year. It's all a bit too easy in my opinion.

To move your dog from A2 into A3 you need 3 'A2' points. A point is gained for every first, second or third placing with a clear round. To move the dog from A3 to AW, you need three clear round wins under at least two different judges . When the dog has won A3 for the third time, it holds the title Danish Agility Champion. It then is entitled to compete in AW with the other champions.

The other type of official class is the Jumping Class ( J ). The rules for moving from class to class are the same as the agility, but both classes are independent of each other. After three clear round wins under at least two different judges, the dog wins the title Danish Jumping Champion.

So for each competition there is a minimum of four classes for a dog - the two Open classes, and your level class in agility and jumping. At many shows there are fun classes as well.

Size divisions
There are two divisions according to height -

  1. Minis - Dogs are under 39.99cm and jump between 30 - 40cm at the discretion of the judge.
  2. Standards- The bigger dogs are 40cm and above and jump between 55-65 cm.

Popular breeds
The most popular Mini breeds are the Shelties, Poodles, Beagles and some Terrier breeds. The most popular Standard dogs are the Border Collies and the Belgian Shepherds, although there is always a large variety of breeds entered at most shows.

Shows
All our official Danish Kennel Club agility shows are FCI approved. Any dog that has a competition book can compete.

Each year we have a variety of exciting competitions in addition to all the regular ones. There is Agility Dog of the Year, Agility Team of the Year, and the Danish Agility Championships for individuals and teams. The Royal Canin Masters always attracts entries for the qualifying rounds. The first prize is an all-expenses paid trip to Crufts.

Our Club hosts a Charity Show each year with fun classes chosen from the UK: Power íní Speed, Helter Skelter and such classes. And many of the breed clubs have their own Agility Dog of the Year to give extra incentive for the handlers.

About the author
Johanna Allanach
lives in Denmark, just outside of Copenhagen. She has competed for a few years now and finished a champion in jumping and agility, and qualified for the Danish National Championships and Royal Canin Masters each year.

She has six dogs in all, five Border Collies and a Sheltie. She competes in Obedience and the show ring, but mainly in agility.

  • She usually places within the six best in the Open class with her AW dog ( Jimmy).
  • Foggy is a low-flying jet, and a hit/miss dog. Either he wins his class or does a wild run.
  • Whizz is in A2 and J2 but hasn't competed much yet.
  • Bridie, a Sheltie, will be competing from the summer when she will be oe 18 months.
  • Phantom and Heather only do agility as a hobby - no competing.

Johanna's best results were two years ago with Abby, a borrowed dog , when she won all four classes - the two open classes, A2 and J2. She nearly did a repeat the weekend after, but was disqualified in A2 due to a small communication error!

She has four of my dogs ready for travel to the UK and hope to compete at the Rugby Agility Show in July.