Agility Competitions

MDTC encourages any member wishing to compete in the Agility ring which is open to any breed or cross breed. Please talk to your instructor or to any Committee member.

Dogs compete only against dogs of similar experience within a fixed number of jump height divisions. the divisions are Mini (35cm or less), Midi (36 to 43cm) and Maxi (over 43 cm). Measurements are taken from the top of the dogs shoulder to the ground. The dog with the lowest number of faults and the fastest time wins the class.

The rules are fairly simple; handlers may give an unlimited number of commands or signals to their dogs, but may not touch either the equipment or the dog. Dogs are 'faulted' for actions such as taking down a jump bar, failing to put one or more feet in the safety or contact zone when ascending/descending contact equipment, taking obstacles out of sequence, and running past or stopping before the next obstacle to be performed. Time penalties are additionally assessed against dogs that exceed the 'Standard Course Time' (SCT).

In competition, the obstacles are arranged in various course configurations, always unique from trial to trial, that offer levels of challenges appropriate to the class and experience level of the dogs competing. The handler must direct their dog around the course in the sequence that has been predetermined by the judge. At entry levels of competitions, courses contain few complications and are more of a test to prove the dog can competently perform the equipment within a reasonable amount of time. As the dog and handler earn their way into successively higher levels, the courses increase in complexity and begin to require split second timing and coordination between the handler and the dog in order to accomplish the course within the SCT established by the judge.

There are 4 classes in Agility competitions:

Starters Includes, jumps, tyre, tunnel and weave
Novice Includes all obstacles except see-saw
Intermediate Includes all obstacles
Senior Includes all obstacles 

Note: At Ribbon Trials there is also an Elementary Class for true beginners.

Ribbon Trials

These are informal competitions held by the local dog clubs and always take place outside, (whatever the weather!) and entries are taken on the day - cost is usually $3.00 per class. The Tests start at Elementary which is for true beginners and is usually make up of jumps, tunnels and a tyre jump. Most dogs who have completed the Intermediate course would be capable of entering a Ribbon Trial at this level.

Ribbons are usually awarded to 5th place in each class.

Championship Agility Events

Similar to Obedience, you must be a member of the NZ Kennel Club and your dog must be registered with the NZ Kennel Club to enter a Championship Agility Competition. All breeds and cross breeds can be registered with the NZ Kennel Club as an Agility competitor.

These are formal competitions held by the local dog clubs, often here at the NZ Kennel Club grounds, and entries are taken about 2 weeks in advance. Competitions are advertised in the NZ Kennel Club Magazine, the NZ Kennel Gazette. The cost is usually $4 per entry. The Classes run from Starters (for beginner dogs) and go right through to the most advanced being Seniors. Prizes are usually awarded to 5th place and ribbons to 7th place. Obviously it is preferable to have experience at Ribbon Trials before starting Championship events.