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Our beginners’ agility program, called Great Agility, is the perfect place to get started in agility. The sport of dog agility is one of the most fun and rewarding activities that a dog and handler can share together! It’s even more so when the team has the proper foundation behaviors that will make training obstacles and handling so much easier and more successful. 

Once you’ve met the requirements for our program, start with an Agility Evaluation.  The program is made up of six different classes, which cover everything you’ll need to get started in this sport. Start with the Agility Fundamentals class. Then, the remaining classes can be taken in nearly any order (each class’s requirements are listed). You’ll be able to retake any classes you need extra time with. Once you and your dog are proficient on the skills trained in Great Agility, you’ll be ready to join one of our Ongoing Novice Agility classes. We’d love to have you and your dog join us for Great Agility!

Agility Evaluations

In this 30-minute group session, an agility instructor will assess where the best starting point for you and your dog is in our Agility program.   We will also break down our different programs and give you tips on how to get the most out of your classes! 

Please note that your dog will not be trying out the agility equipment in this evaluation. We are assessing his readiness for foundation training, which is the prerequisite for training on the equipment. 

Agility is a demanding sport which requires a high level of engagement between you and your dog.  Please read over the following questions: 

  1. Is your dog over 11 months of age?
  2. Has your dog completed Manners 2 where you were the primary handler in the class?
  3. If another dog comes up to visit your dog, will your dog be fine with the encounter?
  4. If your dog sees another dog running 40 feet away, will you be able to get your dog’s attention? 
  5. If your dog has ever had major surgeries or injuries, has a specialist approved them to play this sport?  (You are welcome to call us and ask for a specialist recommendation to get your pup checked out so they can play safe and stay sound!)

If you answered “yes” to all four questions, go ahead and book your Agility Evaluation.  If your answer is “no” to one or all of these questions we recommend you contact our front desk to see if we can start you off in private lessons! If you have previous experience in Agility, please call our front desk to schedule a private session to run an in-depth evaluation to place you in our program.

  • Dog must be a minimum of 11 months of age. 
  • Dog and their handler must have completed Manners 2 together. 
  • Reactive or aggressive dogs are not eligible for evaluation .
  • Free

Agility Fundamentals

Agility Fundamentals is the first class in our Great Agility program. This class gives you and your dog the very best start in this fun sport.  

Agility Fundamentals will focus on reinforcement mechanics, engagement and recalls, body awareness, flatwork for handling, foot targeting, tunnels, foundations for jumping, and much more!

  • Dog must be a minimum of 11 months of age. 
  • Dogs and their handlers must have completed Manners 1 and 2. 
  • Dog and handler teams must pass an Agility Readiness Evaluation. 
  • Reactive or aggressive dogs are not eligible for this class. 
  • $168 for six, 50-minute group sessions
  • Discounted make-ups are not available for this class. A private lesson may be needed if classes are missed ($50)

Tunnel Skills

Tunnels are the lowest impact obstacle in the Agility course.  This course will focus on the tunnel for four weeks. It will teach you how to introduce your dog to a full length tunnel in a gradual fun way.  By week four we will be working on sending the dog through U shaped tunnels and chaining tunnels together. This is the ONLY Agility Class that does not require an Agility Evaluation, because the dogs will not be in the ring at the same time together.

  • Dog needs to be six months or older.
  • Dog must have passed Manners 2.

  • $112 for four, 50-minute group sessions
  • Discounted make-ups are not available for this class. A private lesson may be needed if classes are missed ($50)

Contacts

All that foundation work completed in Agility Fundamentals will finally pay off in this class, when training the full height dog walk, A-frame, and table. This class focuses on training an independent and confident performance on each of the contact obstacles. 

  • Dogs and their handlers must taken and passed Agility Fundamentals (or by instructor approval). 
  • Reactive or aggressive dogs are not eligible for this class. 
  • $168 for six, 50-minute group sessions
  • Discounted make-ups are not available for this class. A private lesson may be needed if classes are missed ($50)

Teeter & Weaves - 1

The teeter totter and the weave poles are some of the most complicated obstacles to teach dogs to perform. That’s why we allocated 12 whole weeks to learning them! Teeter & Weaves 1 will introduce and get your pup started on learning to perform these obstacles confidently and independently.

  • Dogs and their handlers must taken and passed Agility Fundamentals (or by instructor approval). 
  • Reactive or aggressive dogs are not eligible for this class. 
  • $168 for six, 50-minute group sessions
  • Discounted make-ups are not available for this class. A private lesson may be needed if classes are missed ($50)

Teeter & Weaves - 2

This second installment to the Teeter and Weaves class will allow your pup to complete their training on these complicated but fun obstacles! The focus of this class will be to solidify the dog’s understanding of the obstacles and how we would like them to be performed. 

  • Dogs and their handlers must taken and passed Agility Fundamentals and Teeter & Weaves 1 (or by instructor approval). 
  • Reactive or aggressive dogs are not eligible for this class. 
  • $168 for six, 50-minute group sessions
  • Discounted make-ups are not available for this class. A private lesson may be needed if classes are missed ($50)

Jumping Skills

Jumps are taken more than any other obstacle in an agility course, so we’ve dedicated an entire class to teaching your pup how to jump properly, with good form and independence. This class will not only teach the dog how to take jumps in both extension and collection, but how to take all the different varieties of jumps they will encounter (broad jump, wing jump, wingless jump, panel jump, tire jump, triple jump).

  • Dogs and their handlers must taken and passed Agility Fundamentals (or by instructor approval). 
  • Reactive or aggressive dogs are not eligible for this class. 
  • $168 for six, 50-minute group sessions
  • Discounted make-ups are not available for this class. A private lesson may be needed if classes are missed ($50)

Your Instructors

  • Head Agility Trainer

    Rachel Downs
    Rachel Downs is WAGD’s Head Agility Trainer. She created the Great Agility program, designed to give new dog and handler teams the best possible start in agility. She also provides classes, workshops and private lessons for highly experienced teams competing at all levels in the sport. got started in dog training and dog sports as a young child, having been […]
  • Specialty & Pet Manners Trainer

    Gabi Vannini CPDT-KA
    Gabi Vannini CPDT-KA joined the WAGD staff in fall 2018. She teaches barn hunt, agility, conformation, rally and manners. She is an AKC CGC, trick, ACT test, temperament test and farm dog evaluator. Gabi competes in a variety of dog sports with her own dogs and has titled in obedience, agility, rally, conformation, lure coursing, dock diving, barn hunt, tricks […]
  • Agility & Senior Pet Manners Trainer

    Meagan Johnson
    Meagan Johnson joined the WAGD staff in 2018. Meagan has worked with families and their dogs since 2012. She teaches Agility, Tricks and Pet Manners, as well as helps families help their dogs with a variety of behavioral issues. Meagan dove deep into learning the science of force free training as she trained her first dog, Twig. Twig went on […]
  • Agility Trainer

    Ryan Shaw CPDT-KA
    Ryan joined WAGD in May of 2011, teaching Agility and Pet Manners classes. Ryan worked in the commercial construction industry for 22 years. When she earned her CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer)  in 2013, Ryan left the corporate world to pursue her dream of working with and training dogs as a full-time profession. Ryan’s utilizes positive reinforcement training methods, including […]