Agility: Getting Started


Beardies make great agility dogs. They are smart (sometimes too smart), agile, fast, and willing to please.

Teaching your Beardie the basic execution of most obstacles takes only a small amount of time and simple training techniques. Most dogs can be readily convinced to run through a short, straight tunnel to chase a toy or to go to their owner, for example. However, to compete in agility trials and to develop speed and accuracy, both dog and handler must learn a wide range of techniques for performing sequences of obstacles and communicating on the course while running full out.

The teeter-totter and the weave poles are the most challenging obstacles to teach, the first because many dogs are wary of the board’s movement, and the second because it is not a behavior that they would do naturally over a series of 12 poles. However, it can also be challenging to train the dog to perform its contact obstacles in a manner that ensures that they get paws into the contact zone without sacrificing speed.


Training techniques vary greatly. Therefore it is recommended that you join a class taught by a qualified agility trainer.