All About Agility
The Israeli Dog Training and Agility Club
The Israeli Dog Training and Agility Club, a member of the Israel Kennel Club, invites all dog owners to join us in this exciting and enjoyable activity – the sport of agility.
History of the Club
The Israeli Dog Training Club was founded at the beginning of the 70s. It was one of the first clubs introduced by the Israel Kennel Club. Club members trained in the English version of obedience (which included fetching objects, defense and tracking, training service dogs, etc.). In the 70s, the club also introduced Schutzhund training, until 1984.
The Israel Dog Training Club had its first exposure to the sport of agility in 1982, when a team of five handlers and dogs – one giant schnauzer, two German shepherds, and two Dobermans – flew to an international competition in South Africa. They became enamored with the concept of agility and decided to 'import' it to Israel. As a result, the regulations were translated and obstacles were bought or built.
Agility is a competitive sport based on the sport of horse jumping. It was first demonstrated in 1978, at he Crufts Dog Show, in London. In 1989, the FCI appointed a committee on agility in order to draw up guidelines for the sport. The sport was officially recognized in 1991.
The idea of dog training has been around for years, for many and varied reasons. Agility brings together teamwork between the handler and his dog, and depends on excellent and positive communication between them, precise control, excellent balance, along with the delight of a game and positive reinforcement. It is no wonder that the international slogan for the sport is "agility is fun."
The sport reflects positive harmony between dog and handler, where the epitome is perfect understanding and coordination through which they navigate a course.
An agility course is made up of obstacles (between 12-22), arranged in order in a specific pattern, sometimes in straight lines, and sometimes with turns. Every course is set up differently. The handler must guide his dog over and through the obstacles in the correct order established for that course. The dog that completes the course with minimum faults and at maximum speed gets the highest score.
The obstacles used are many and varied: bar jumps, teeter totter, dog walk, flexible tunnel, fabric chute, wall, A-frame, hoop, table, weave, and long jump.
Competitions are divided into three categories, depending on the height of the dog at the whithers:
Mini – up to 35 cm
Medium – between 36 and 43 cm
Large – 44 cm and over.
What is the connection between agility and the Israeli Dog Training and Agility Club?
The Israeli Dog Training and Agility Club is the only professional training club in Israel that offers regular activities. Training takes place every Friday afternoon.
The Club has at its disposal a large, convenient site in the center of the country, and all the apparatus necessary, built to international specifications.
Over the years, the Club has obtained both theoretical and practical knowledge in training the sport. Representatives of the club have taken part in some international competitions, reaching quite respectable levels.
Over the years, the Club has also forged connections with clubs throughout Europe and the US, and with key personalities in the area, such that the Club is always aware of what is going on in the world of agility.
To date, there are about 60 members, of which approximately 45 are active.
The teams (handler and dog) are divided into groups according to their ability. Each week, they do exercises in obedience, and then agility. Each team receives individual attention from the group's trainer.
The teams are quite varied because handlers' ages can range from 12 to 65 years, and their dogs can be any type, size, or breed, including mixed breeds.
Popular breeds for agility are Border Collies, Australian shepherds, Belgian Shepherds, collies, poodles, Labrador Retrievers, golden retrievers, Siberian Huskies, Dobermans, and more.
Training sessions are held every Friday afternoon at the "Sport-Kef" facility in Rishon le Zion. They last about 90 minutes.
As of 2011, the annual fee is NIS 500. (Subject to change.)
The Israeli Dog Training and Agility Club is a member of the IKC (Israel Kennel Club), and is registered as a non-profit organization.