Agility offers exciting, challenging exercise for the minds and bodies of Portuguese Water Dogs and their owners. Working together to navigate a course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and other obstacles, canine and human teams work together to move quickly and accurately through courses of varying degrees of difficulty. With their exuberance, athleticism, and sharp mind, PWDs are excellent agility dogs. It’s an activity that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and provides fun and exercise for both.
Running a dog in agility is the ultimate game for you and your dog and is one of the most exciting canine sports for participants and spectators alike. There are many different organizations that offer agility competitions, one of which is the AKC. There are several types of classes offered at an AKC agility trial: Standard, Jumpers With Weaves, Fifteen And Send Time (FAST) and Preferred. There are three different levels of competition within each class:
Novice (AKC titles: NA, NAJ)
The novice level is for the dog that is just starting in agility. There are 13 to 15 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Novice level is on performing the obstacles with minimal handling technique.
Open (AKC titles: OA, OAJ)
The open level is for the dog that has completed the Novice level. There are 16 to 18 obstacles on this course. The focus of the open level is on more difficult obstacle course performance with more handling skill required.
Excellent (AKC titles: AX, AXJ, MX, MXJ)
The excellent level is for the dog that has completed the open level. There are 18 to 20 obstacles on this course. The focus of the Excellent A & B class is to provide the opportunity for dogs and handlers to demonstrate their superior skills in moving quickly and efficiently with close communication and teamwork through challenging agility courses. The Excellent B level is the class where handler-dog teams can earn the title, Master Agility Champion (MACH), in the Regular Classes.