Dog Agility

Dog agility is fast and furious and bags of fun for both dog and owner, and when it comes to spectator sports this one is top of the list! We caught up with Team GB Agility competitor and Natures Menu brand champion Chloe Machon to find out everything you need to know about the sport and how to get involved... 


Chloe Machon, 23, Team GB Agility.


Tell us about your dogs!


I currently compete with two Working Cocker Spaniels and I am training my youngest who is also a Working Cocker Spaniel. Agility is for all different type/shapes/size of dogs. There are different classes for different height dogs and special classes for certain breeds (eg. ABC which stands for Anything But Collies).


How did you get started?


When I moved over here from France, my Aunt introduced me to Agility when I was 8 and let me run her dog in the Junior Classes (special classes for handlers that are either Under 12 or from the age of 12 -18). I got the bug and 15 years later I’m still here!


What level are you at?


I currently compete at Grade 7/Championship Level. Agility starts at Grade 1 and goes up to Grade 7. When you get to Grade 7, you can then compete in the Championship classes.


 What disciplines are involved?


Agility involves a lot of disciplines for both Dog and Handler. As a handler you have to accept that it might not always be your day, and Agility is always a learning curve. Patience is a huge discipline when learning/teaching Agility, it’s not an easy sport/hobby, but it’s so worth it! Other things like commitment, time management, team work and early morning starts are all thrown into the mix! 
For the dogs, there's also a lot of listening, self control and self awareness in doing Agility, but the best things about it all is that it’s so much fun and not all about the winning.


What is your proudest achievement in this area?


I couldn’t narrow it down to one, so my two proudest achievements have to be Winning YKC (junior class) Dog of the Year in 2012, I have been doing YKC classes since I started at 8 years old, and in my last year eligible to compete, me and Juice won it at Crufts! My other one has to be getting all the dogs I’ve been fortunate enough to run to Grade 7/Championship Level.


How would newbies get involved?


I would recommend going online and looking for agility trainers/clubs near you! A good website is either The Kennel Club website for all the information, but also or if you go to the AgilityNet Facebook page and ask for the recommended trainer in your area. Once you have found a trainer, they should be able to help you and get you started!


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