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Do's & Dont's

always read the schedule for the show you are entering. For example it may be to qualify for a final you need to be registered with a Club i.e. Agility Club Starters, or classes are restricted to certain type of dogs e.g. ABC (anything but collies).

Dont have any tags or tassles on your dogs collar or leave a harness on in the ring - you will be eliminated

Do wait for the scrimer (person sitting by the timer in the ring) to tell you when to start your run - they will usually say "When your ready Joe Bloggs". 

Dont worry if it all goes wrong in the ring - we have all been there! Just carry on running your dog and enjoy it.

Do find out where your classes are and listen for when your class will be ready for walking and running - classes can move quickly so always know where you need to be and for when.

Do check on Agility Net or iss before a show if you think it may be cancelled due to bad weather etc

Dont miss the closing date for a show entry - once it is closed (KC) you cannot enter

Do always wear  appropriate shoes when running - the ground can be slippery even in summer first thing in the mornings & don't forget to pack clothes for all weathers - shows will continue if it rains!

Dont be afraid to ask someone if you are unsure of something be it before entering a show or when you are at a show.



After training for a little while you may find that you are becoming addicted to agility - It is a side effect that many do not expect! Your friends may tell you the crazy the times that they get up to travel to shows at a weekend and you may think you will never be doing that - but before you know it your alarm is going off, the dog leads are on and the car all packed up ready for your day at the show!

Going to shows is a great way to really experience the buzz and fun of agility, meet with like minded people and get to cheer on your friends and their four legged pals.

There are different types of agility shows, the main three being UKA (UK Agility), KC (Kennel Club) and Independent, with each type holding competitive shows around Essex and surrounding counties.  To help you chose we have put a few of the local shows on the diary page of our web site.  Each type of show has its own rules, stage progression and even jump sizes. 

UKA shows can usually be entered on the day and you can opt to train in the ring (on your turn).  They are generally more relaxed and ideal for beginners who have not entered shows before.  You can also have your dog measured on the day at a UKA show and need not to be registered with the UKA before entering on the day.  However, it is cheaper to register online and enter shows before hand.  For more details of UKA shows click here. 

Before entering a KC show you need to have registered with the Activity Register (click here for details) (only if your dog isn't on the breed register).  Once you have your KC name and number you need to have your dog measured so you know which height classes to enter.  

Once you have done all of the above you can enter KC shows.  First of all though you need to look at which shows you are going to go to. The best place to find shows is by going to Agility Net (click here for details) where all shows are listed in date order together with their schedules. You can only enter shows once they are open until they close (i.e. closing date).  Once the closing date has passed, if you have not entered you no longer can. 

To enter a show you can either print the entry forms, complete with your details and enter by post or more often that not you can enter online i.e. ASO (Agilityshows.online). ASO is a fairly simple online database where you can enter your dogs details and enter the classes for you. You can also pay online for your entries and know exactly which shows you are have entered.   There are other online entry sites for example L &N (Click here for L&N), however this will be shown on the shows schedules. 

Once you have entered and paid for your classes for a show you will not hear anything until about a week to ten days before.  You should at this time receive by post a ring plan for the show detailing which class will be held in which ring and your individual running order list. This will give you details of how many dogs are entered in your class, your dogs running order number (RO) and sometimes the ring number your class will be held in.

On the day of the show, it is often best to get there in plenty of time so you can work out where your classes are going to be. If you have a first class in the ring your class may have an * next to your running order number.  This also means you will need to ensure you are at a show in plenty of time to walk your course (usually shows start judging from 8.30).

There will be lots of people walking courses and more often than not you will know some of them.  Sometimes they may even be available to help you walk the course and give you some guidance (but don't forget they may have their own dogs to run as well so don't be offended if they are not able to help you at that time). The judge will also give a judges briefing before the class, which you may want to listen to if you are unsure of anything. There is also a ring party for each ring if you need to check anything with them in relation to your class.

Once you have walked your course and you know when you are running (from your running order), you can get your dogs and enjoy the rest of the day. 

Don't forget to tell us about your day and whether you come home with any clear round or placing rosettes so we can post in on the results page to let others know about your day.

If you have any questions, or are unsure on how to enter please ask - anyone competing has had their first time at a show and will know what you are worried about! Just ask.