The answer is Yes. Agility competitions do not require a pedigree.
Any mixed-breed dog can compete in agility. It doesn’t matter if the dog is large or small. If your your dog is athletic and likes to exercise and have tasks to do, then agility may be a good fit for it.
While many dogs enjoy agility training and competitions, dogs that are mixed with herding breeds often excel at agility. That includes (but is not limited to) dogs that are mixed with German Shepherds, Border Collies, and Australian Shepherds.
Herding dogs tend to be intelligent, naturally nimble, and like to have tasks to do – which are strengths that work well with agility training.
If you don’t know the background of your large mixed-breed dog and are wondering if it would be good at agility, you can always give it a try and see how they do. If your dog is energetic and responds well to instruction, agility might be a good fit.
There are also several skills that your dog should master before attempting to compete in dog agility trials. These include:
- Eye contact
- Crate training
Several quality agility organizations operate in the US, and there are also local agility clubs and 4 H clubs that offer agility training. You can set up a backyard agility course to train your dog in agility skills. Some dog parks even have agility equipment that you can try out with your dog.
Dog agility is a sport that you do with your dog. There is an obstacle course that typically consists of 14 to 20 different obstacles. They are set up in different configurations for different events.
Your dog will take direction from you as they navigate the course successfully. The dog with the fastest time in their category wins!
You can see a video of a dog agility trial here.
Several organizations offer competitive agility trials and training in the US. Some of them are regional and some of them are national.
Many people think that you have to have an AKC purebred dog to compete in AKC events, and that is true for confirmation events. But AKC agility is open to all dogs whether they are purebred or mixed breed.
You do have to register your dog with the AKC to participate in agility competitions with them.
Canine Performance Events hosts a whole slate of agility trials for dogs. This organization is getting more popular all the time. You can become a member of CPE and participate in their many agility trials.
The USDAA is another great agility organization. They have a comprehensive list of local clubs, which makes getting involved easy. The USDAA also has a busy event calendar with a large variety of locations and dates where trials are held.
They recommend checking out local dog fairs and expos to see if your dog can do a “trial run” through the agility equipment. This can help you gauge whether or not your dog will be good at agility.
If you are looking at getting started in agility with your dog for the first time, UKC may be a good fit for you.
This organization is focused on making agility available to any dog and can give you the experience to compete in other organizations.
The downside is that official UKC events may be hard to find in some areas.
If you want a more laid-back atmosphere that is more about having fun with your dog than in earning awards then this organization will be a good fit.