AGILITY at BOTC
Agility is one of the fastest growing canine sports in the United States. It is especially popular in New England where there is at least one competition every weekend during the entire year. In many cases there are 2 to 4 competitions in a single weekend in the New England and Eastern New York region.
In Agility, a dog and human handler team attempt to properly negotiate an obstacle course within an allotted time. The number and type of obstacles varies as does the arrangement of the obstacles and the resulting path. Dogs compete in groups based on height of the dog and the level of accomplishment the dog and handler have achieved. Dogs of all types, sizes and breeds can participate. Humans of any age can participate and it's not unusual to see retirees competing against teenagers. It's a sport that the whole family can enjoy!
While there are ribbons and other prizes for the fastest dog/handler teams at each height and skill level, teams which might not complete the course as quickly still earn points and advance from the Novice level to Excellent level. In fact, a dog/handler team that runs at an average speed with few mistakes can often advance more quickly than a fast team that makes more mistakes. It's one of the great attractions of agility - every handler and their dog can participate and all can excel.
For experienced dog/handler teams, agility is a fast-paced activity that is equally fun to watch. Competitors regularly cheer and applaud a good run by a fellow competitor. People new to the sport regularly remark about the friendly environment and the help and advice that is freely offered by experienced handlers.
Agility at BOTC
BOTC held its very first first AKC agility match in April 2000. Since 2002, BOTC has sponsored an AKC-licensed agility trial for 2 days each April. Competitors come from all over New England and eastern New York State to compete and renew friendships made in past years. BOTC's reputation for running a smooth and well-organized event with friendly, warm club members makes the BOTC agility trial a popular weekend for many competitors.
While BOTC members enjoy the competition and comradery of our annual agility trial, we also see agility as a year-round activity that promotes a stronger bond between us and our dogs and provides tangible benefits to our other training activities with them. BOTC members participate at all levels in agility. While some may only compete once or twice per year, others attend trials throughout the year including qualifying for and traveling to Regional and National competitions. BOTC members and their dogs have achieved awards at the highest levels excellence in AKC and USDAA agility. One of BOTC's members has recently completed AKC's agility judging program and begun judging AKC agility trials. BOTC sponsors regular agility practice and training sessions for its members.