August 12, 2014

How Has AKC Agility Grown Over the Past 10 Years?

Don’t miss podcast #66 where we discuss these trends and what we think they mean for the growth of our sport.

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  • There’s TONS of other venues out there for young dogs that give dogs the ability to succeed. CPE, ASCA, UKI, NADAC etc. are all other venues that make it more friendly for novice competitors.

    Also, in our area there’s a LOT of very RUDE competitors. I’m all for competition, but first and foremost there’s no reason to be rude to other competitors. It’s a huge turn-off to see people being rude to one another there. How do you get them involved when you don’t feel welcome?

    It’s not cheap to get a dog and train him/her ready to show.

    What age group are you going after? Juniors? Maybe, but many of them are involved with other sports. College kids are usually out, as many college kids go away for school and don’t bring a dog.
    Post college you can do, but many of them are starting families,so dog sports are tough to keep them involved in. People in their 40s and 50s? That’s the average age now, but how do you get them in? Westminster helps, sure. Why not get some of the major events on Animal Planet? Exposure is key to bring in new people. We found the sport by looking on youtube for something to do with a husky. When we went to our first class, the teacher asked us “why did you bring a husky to this?” They like to run? We didn’t know, we just knew that we needed to give the husky a job to do and agility seemed like fun.

  • Or the fact that you are there til it gets DARK if you run a Novice dog at most trials?? Also rings are NOT fenced or closed for AKC Novice, like other venues are willing to do .

    • We have two new facilities in our area being used for agility that are indoor soccer rinks. One is only big enough for one ring, the other has two, but the barrier between is opaque. I didn’t even consider the effect this had on the dogs till one of my training partners was getting ready to debut in Novice and pointed it out. Now, I am actively planning my own debut for one of these enclosed rings. It takes away so much of the distractions and will provide my dog with a great first show experience.

      But for me, it is a happy accident that that is available. I don’t expect it to be for most competitors. Perhaps we need some entrepreneur to develop a chain of agility facilities across the country available for competition! Lotto time!

  • Perhaps a lack of adequate training facilities and the fact it takes a lot of commitment and time to get a young dog ready for trialing?

  • Glad to see the sport is growing but it looks like new people are not starting at the rate they were a few years ago. Wonder why?

    • New people are starting with different venues, that’s why. There’s other venues that have tons of dogs entered in Novice at trials…more than the other levels.

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