The CKT guide to getting started...
training’s going well. Your dog can now complete a course so you think you’d like to try your
hand at competing. If so, here’s some handy hints from Kate & Cliff Truluck to get you started,
but be warned. This agility thing can be addictive. If this time next year you have a fully
caged van, a caravan and several dogs, don’t say you weren’t warned!
- Your dog must be registered with the Kennel Club (KC).
If your dog is a pedigree, then it is likely to have been registered by the breeder. You need
to know your dog's registered name and its KC number. These can be found on the paperwork you
received from the breeder.
your dog is a rescue, not a pedigree or not KC-registered, then you need to register them on
the Kennel Club Activity Register. You need to choose a KC name for your dog - one that you
are happy to be read out loud in public if you win anything at a show so choose wisely! You
have to submit several choices on the form in case your first name is already taken by
another dog. For more information visit the KC website: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/3440
- Before you can compete with your dog at a KC show, you
will need to have it officially measured. Dogs fall into one of three categories – Small,
Medium or Large. You probably know what size your dog is from training, but it still needs to
be measured even if they are obviously large or very tiny.
For your dog to be measured you will need to have a KC Agility Record Book. This book records
all your dog's details and the results of the measuring. It also provides you with a place to
record all your results, clear rounds, places and wins. Record Books can often be bought from
Secretaries at shows or from KC Measurers themselves, or you can buy them from the KC website
at the address below:
- Your dog will need to be identified in its Record Book
either with a microchip number if it has been micro-chipped, or with a photograph, glued onto
the details page of the book.
sessions take place at some shows and will often be advertised on the show schedule. Some
clubs will also hold measuring sessions at their venues. These are often advertised at www.agilitynet.co.uk.
The measuring session is held by two KC official measurers.
Dogs aren’t actually measured using a tape measure. Instead there are two metal hoops – one
small and one medium. The measurer places the hoop over the dog#s withers. If the dog fits
under the Small one, then they classed as 'Small.' If they fit under the Medium one, they are
considered 'Medium.' if they don’t fit under either of them, then they are a 'Large' dog.
Your dog will need to stand still for a couple of minutes with you holding them so it would
be a useful thing to practice at home.
- Small and medium dogs cannot be measured until they are 15 months old and must be
measured twice. The second measurement needs to be between 12 – 24 months after the first
one. Dogs which are obviously Large can be measured before they are 15 months and only need
to be measured once. There is much more information about measuring in the front of the
So, your dog’s registered and measured, now what?
Now you need to enter a show!
- Because most shows usually need to be entered at least
six weeks before they happen, they have a closing date. If it is a weekend show - and you
wish to camp at the show, then you need to enter as soon as the schedule comes out as the
camping often fills up very quickly. Schedules can be found on the Show Diary at
www.agilitynet.co.uk. Alternatively you can register with IShowServices at www.ishowservices.com and
enter many shows on-line.
new handlers and their dogs start at Grade 1. You can enter as many classes as the schedule
allows that are for your dog's height and grade.
- Classes are split into two types - 'Agility' and
'Jumping' classes. Agility classes contain the contact equipment – A-frame, dog walk and
seesaw – along with everything else. Jumping classes do not contain any contacts, but can
have everything else – weaves, tunnels, tyre.
There can also be 'special' classes to enter such as helter-skelter, steeplechase, power and
speed which are fine but do not lead to progression. The specific details of these classes
can be found in the schedule. Normally you can enter three or four classes per dog each day
of a show.
- A couple of weekes before the show, you will be sent
your running orders. This is the paperwork that tells you the order of classes, in which ring
they are and what your running order is (i.e. how early or late you run in the class).
If you are camping at the show your running orders will usually contain a camping pass or
confirmation that your camping spot is booked. You will need to bring this paperwork with you
to the show so you know which ring to go to when.
- The Agility Club is a club for everyone competing in
agility. Membership gives you a monthly magazine with show reports, articles and advice.
There is also an annual show and a competition for Grade 1 & 2 dogs with the chance to
compete in a final at the annual show. The Agility Club has a points competition every year
for all dogs of all grades and sizes getting points for any top ten places gained at KC
shows. There is a club league and you submit your points not only for yourself but also for
your club, Their website is www.agilityclub.co.uk
If you’ve got any questions about competing please ask one of your instructors
or any already competing members at your club. Generally they’ll be happy to point you in the
right direction. See you round the shows!
Kate & Cliff Truluck
run CKT Dog Training Club. For more information about them and their
club, please visit their website