Countdown to Westminster 2016: 3rd Annual Masters Agility Competition

Shetland Sheepdog (sheltie) At Dog Agility TrialWestminster Kennel Club and the AKC have expanded the agility competition at the Westminster show this year, making it a part of Saturday’s Meet and Compete event at Piers 92 and 94.

The agility competition takes place all day on February 13th (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.) at Pier 94, with the finals being televised live on FOX Sports 1 from 8-10 p.m. ET.

Just as with the Masters Obedience (discussed yesterday), the agility trial is open to dogs of any breed or even of no specific breed. The only requirements is that they already have their masters certification in the sport.

If you’re not familiar with agility, it is a super fun sport where handlers lead their dogs by voice and hand signals through an elaborate obstacle course. The dogs must go through tunnels, jump over stanchions, walk across a teeter-totter making sure to touch both ends, and run through weave poles, competing for the fastest time.

Dogs compete in different classes based on their height, primarily so that the jumps can be reset to a realistic, standard height between classes.

The top 3 dogs from each height class then compete in the finals. After the selection of the top 3 dogs, which may be of any breed, dogs from certain breeds are chosen from each class to get to a total of 10 dogs from each height class to advance to the championship round.

Good luck to all of the handler and dog teams entered. I look forward to watching the finals Saturday night!

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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