With the handler in charge of strategy, and the dog given the athletic responsibilities, the team negotiates an obstacle course, performing each obstacle in the correct sequence. Emphasis is placed on accuracy and speed. Safe execution of each obstacle is paramount, with faults being assigned for knocked down poles, missed contacts (the start and end of the see-saw, A-frame and dogwalk), or taking an obstacle out of sequence.
There are two main streams of agility in New Zealand: Standard Agility and Jumpers. There is also games.
Entry level for Standard Agility is the Elementary class at ribbon trials or Starters at Championship shows.
- Elementary – a simple course of 10 to 15 obstacles, which are the easiest for the dog to master
Entry level for Jumpers is a Jumpers C course at ribbon trials and at at Championship shows.
- Jumpers C – a reasonably simple course of 15 to 18 obstacles, consisting only of jumping obstacles and tunnels.
For more information about agility in New Zealand go to: http://www.dogagility.org.nz/newbies.html