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Dog agility stars jump to Reno
by Tribune Staff
Mar 07, 2012 | 1729 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Tribune Staff

NEW YORK — Nearly 1,000 of the top agility dogs and handlers in the nation will vie for the title of American Kennel Club (AKC) National Agility Champion in their height classes on March 30 through April 1 at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

The prestigious AKC National Agility Championship (NAC) will feature the top agility teams in the country soaring over jumps, whipping through weave poles and climbing seesaws and A-frames.

“We look forward to welcoming the nation’s top agility competitors to this beautiful site in Reno,” said AKC director of agility Carrie DeYoung. “We are especially excited to welcome our All-American dogs. In just their second year of eligibility, 29 mixed-breeds qualified and 12 will compete. We wish all of our entrants the best of luck.”

Eighty-eight breeds, plus dogs enrolled in AKC Canine Partners, from the speedy Australian shepherd and border collie to the tiny Chihuahua and Yorkshire terrier, will compete. Several rare breeds are also entered, including the Icelandic sheepdog, puma and Pyrenean shepherd.

The AKC National Agility Championship is a competition that requires participants to garner a certain number of points and qualifying rounds in local shows the preceding year to become eligible to participate.

The championship consists of five rounds to be completed over Saturday and Sunday. All dogs will compete in the first three rounds. Rounds four and five will be limited to the highest-scoring performers. After round five — the top dog in each jump height‚ 8, 12, 16, 20, 24 and 26-inch for the regular classes and 4, 8, 12, 16 and 20-inch for the preferred classes — will win the title of National Agility Champion of 2012.

Competition will take place on March 30 and 31 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on April 1 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Agility is the AKC’s fastest growing sport, and reached 1 million entries in 2011. This exciting, athletic event requires conditioning, concentration, training and teamwork. Dogs and handlers must negotiate a timed obstacle course, off-leash, striving for a perfect score of 100. Missed obstacles, knocked jumps or other mistakes result in penalties deducted from the total score.

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2012 Agility Championship Numbers


• 640 MACH (Master Agility Champion) or PACH (Preferred Agility Champion) dogs, including one MACH20.

• 20 Past National Agility Champions.

• 12 All-American Dogs (members of AKC Canine Partners) will participate, the highest total ever!

• 4 rings of competition with real-time results via Twitter.

• 4 juniors handlers, under the age of 18

Largest Numbers of Competitors By State

California: 295

Washington: 98

Colorado: 74

Texas: 43

Minnesota: 35

Oregon: 34

Arizona: 28

Illinois: 24

Ohio: 23

Idaho: 20

Highest Breed Totals

227 Border Collies

120 Shelties

62 Australian Shepherds

49 Golden Retrievers

42 Papillons

37 Poodles

Dogs Titled in Other Arenas

68 Breed Champions

2 Triple Champions

5 Obedience Champions

2012 Judges

Kitty Bradley – Colorado

Sheila Kaufmann – Colorado

David Nauer – Colorado

Catherine Nelson – Wisconsin

Anne Riba – Illinois

Debby Wheeler – California
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