Whether you take up Agility just for fun at home, at a local club or wish to go on to compete at one of the hundreds of agility competitions held nationally /internationally the starting point is the same, an energetic dog with some basic manners and a committed handler with a sense of humour . "Laugh and the world laughs with you" is a good philosophy to adopt as things  surely will go wrong- often.

Agility is a fantastic way to keep yourself and your dog active and alert as it exercises both members of the 'partnership' physically and mentally but also creates an incredible bond between you. It is an activity for which the intelligent , atheletic, energetic Weimaramer is well suited. You only have to watch agility on the TV to see how much everyone enjoys themselves, dogs. handlers and spectators alike.

As with any other sport or activity there is much to learn and it can seem a little daunting to newcomers but you will be most welcome and receive genuine support from fellow competitors . It is impossible to give all the information you might find useful here but hopefully the following will give you the enthusiasm to find out more and give it a try.

Starting Out If you think you may want to try Agility the most obvious place these days is the internet. Search for local dog -training clubs and ask if the hold 'fun' agility sessions . The Vets surgery, pet shop, local dog walkers etc may also have details.

These links may help too

http://agilitynet.co.uk/clutch/clubs.htm

 http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findaclub/activity/Default.aspx

Agility 1

Ilico Prevet 'starting out' learning to go through the wings and jump a pole on the ground.

 

As a large breed Weimaraners cannot go over full height jumps until they are 18months old but that does not mean just sitting back and waiting for a year and a half. They can learn so much at an early age which will prepare them for agility. Likewise there is no upper limit for your dog to start training or at which they may no longer compete so long as  physically fit and well. There are Weimaraners aged 10+ up and down the country still competing  at shows and gaining awards.

Agility 2a

 Poppy still flying high & enjoying her agility competitions agred 8+

There are several books and videos available about 'pre-agility' or 'agility foundation' which will give you ideas of the types of games which may be useful and the words (commands) you may want your dog to learn when they progress to more formal training.

If you prefer to keep your agility to fun at home level then there is a range of agility equipment which is well made and reasonably priced

It is important to have a well socialized dog and with good basic obeduence as he /she will be working off lead in a highly exciting enviroment. The same applies if starting with an older dog. There are however Weimaraners included , who enter into agility as  rescue dogs ' with issues' they can do exceptionally well but require more dedication from you and an understanding trainer to help you work through these additional problems in a safe enviroment.

Just as there are few age restrictions for the dogs entering agility the same applies to the handlers. There are some amazing handlers at agility shows including Junior handlers from 5yrs to 18yrs and at the other end of the spectrum competitors in their 70's and 80's including exceptional handlers with physical or mental disabilities competing at local shows , national and international events.

Agility Competition  

There are many clubs and independent organizations that put on agility competitions throughout the country and some of these have their own grading and award structures however the best known and most frequently attended are the Kennel Club shows. For full information about grading and awards refer to the Kennel Club rules. Independent shows eg UK Agility feature more 'games' classes which although still a competition have an emphasis on fun.

As with other disciplines there are various types of show. For K.C agility these are classified as Limited, Open Premier & Championship At KC shows there are two main types of classes Agility & Jumping . Some shows also host an  ABC class which is for any breed or cross breed other than Collie, so includes the Weimaraner

 

 Harvey clark

 Harvey on the dog walk

Jumping and Agility classes have a minimum of 10 and maximum of 20 obstacles Most courses have 16-20. The classes are made of a variety of jumps, weaves and tunnels

Agility 2

 

Agility shows in addition to the above also include an A frame , a dog walk, and a seesaw. These are known as contact equipment.

 Havok Seesaw Trubon Chavok Tryon 2

Trubon Havok Tryon

All dogs must be 'measured ' before they enter their first competition and be registered with the KC as a pedigree dog or in the case of rescues who are not KC registered entered on the Activity register. There are classes for small , medium and large  with the Weimaraner classfied as large. The classes entered will be  'graded' where places are awarded to each individual grade or'combined ' where the awards will be allocated to the fastest dogs over all grades eligible for that class.

There are 7 grades within the agility network and progression from Grade 1 to 7 is usually based on winning a number of both Agility & Jumping classes. The popular shows can have 100-200 dogs in a class, so winning is a great achievement and progression through the grades is not easy.There is an option for Grades 1-4 to accrue enough points to move up a grade but this does not apply to grades 5-7Points are awarded incrementally so a dog who is consistently in the high places to gain sufficient points.

 

Aiming for success

As well as progression through the grades you can acknowedge your Weimaraners success by gaining 'Warrant points' by accruing points towards Agility warrants awards from any 'placings' at KC events ( a percentage of each class dependant on number if entries will be awarded a 'place') Agility Warrant awards are Bronze, Silver Gold, Platinum and Diamond. http://www.kennelclub.org.uk/activities/new-to-agility/agility-warrant/

Breed Club Agility trophies- placings at agility competitions can be accrued to enable you to win one of the breed club annual awards. The Weimaraner Club of GB annually award the Sea Lane Stroller Trophy and the Veteran Agility Trophy, points can also be used towards the Wimaraner of the Year award. Further information can be obtained from Alison True Agility Secretary for the club

 

Agility 5

Spoilt Rotten  - a rescue bitch proved that even a most troubled rescue dog can compete in agility  and seen here after she won the Sea Lane Stroller and Veteran Agility Trophies.

The Weimaraner Agility League - small and friendly league of like -minded Weimaraner owners It is run by Debbie Williams who awards trophies at the end of each year for most successful dog and Veteran. For further information please contact Alison True email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Agility 2a

 

Agility Fixtures:

The agilitynet website also contains details of forthcoming agility events.