Agility: Scoring

Each organization has its own rules about what constitutes a fault, and whether one can earn a “qualifying score” with faulted runs. A completed run that passes the minimum defined standards for time, faults, points, etc., is referred to as a “qualifying run” and earns credit towards agility titles. A qualifying run is also referred to as a “leg”.  A “clean run” is one with no faults.

Different organizations place different values on faults, which can include the following:

  • Time Fault: Going over the maximum time allotted by the judge to complete a course (the “standard course time (SCT)”).
  • Missed Contact: The dog failing to place a foot in the contact zone while performing a contact obstacle. Leaping from the obstacle a long way above the descending contact zone is sometimes called a “fly-off”.
  • Knocked or Dropped Bar: Displacing a bar (or panel) when going over a jump.
  • Weave Pole Fault: Entering the weave poles incorrectly, skipping poles, or back-weaving when attempting to correct missed poles.
  • Off Course: Taking the wrong obstacle on a course in which the obstacles are numbered sequentially.
  • Refusal: The dog makes an approach toward the correct obstacle, but then turns away or hesitates before attempting the obstacle or the dog runs past the plane of the next obstacle (run out).
  • Table Fault: Not sitting or lying down on the pause table. Leaving the table early before the judges five second count is completed.
  • Handling: The handler deliberately touches the dog or an obstacle.
  • Training in the ring: The handler deliberately takes an action that appears to be for the purpose of training the dog, rather than trying to run the course correctly, such as asking the dog to repeat an obstacle that he has already successfully completed.
  • Other Faults: Other faults include the following: the dog bites the judge or the handler; the dog or handler exhibits unsportsmanlike behavior, the dog eliminates in the ring, the dog leaves the ring and fails to return, the handler carries toys or food into the ring, the dog runs with his collar on (collars are prohibited in some organizations), the dog fails to exit the ring under handler control after the run.