Which breed can participate in the agility competition?

Fast and furious agility has become a favorite among the competitions and gained popularity among the audience. This is a funny and friendly sport that supports your pet in tip-top shape. If you decide Agility is a suitable activity for you and your pet, your next step is to register your dog with the club and get some expert training.

Whether your dog will be registered by the organization (club), sanctioning the competitions, or not, it depends entirely on the requirements and regulations of this organization. In general, dogs in agility are not separated by breeds. However, some organizations (especially the World Canine Organization - FCI) put strict requirements to ensure that the dogs engaged in competing activity to be exclusively pure breeds. Meanwhile the remaining organizations and kennel clubs, sanctioning agility, allow any sound and able-bodied dog to enter the competitions, regardless of whether it is pedigree or mixed breed dog.

Agility is a universal kind of sport, as on the training or competitions you will meet dogs (and people) of all shapes, colors and sizes .... this is one of the most remarkable opportunities in sport! 

Registration of dogs in the American Kennel Club (AKC)

In the American Kennel Club (AKC) dogs of all breeds recognized by this organization are eligible to compete in agility. Even rare species and various groups of developing breeds have eligibility as well. Rare dog species, recognized by the AKC, are the breeds in the process of selection or those, recognized in the breed of registers of other organizations. I.e., when the breed clubs that support and protect such breeds, have not yet submitted the final required information to AKC for registration. Wide variety of breeds, even those who have not yet met the requirements for a regular status and placement into a specific group of breeds are also eligible for registration in the AKC and allowed to compete.

All purebred dogs of recognized breeds can be registered in clubs or organizations throughout the United States, in the appropriate breed register, if they have a known origin. Purebred dogs of unknown origin are assigned a number from the alternative listing of pure breeds. Mixed-breed dogs have a right to participate in AKC agility trials with the number recorded in the canine partners listing.

In general, there are five main organizations in the United States, responsible for agility competitions funding and supervising the compliance with the rules in this sport.

AKC offers participation in agility to purebred dogs and companion dogs. Affiliated to AKC Joining Canine partner organizations allow cross breeds and dogs non-eligible for AKC to participate and earn titles in dog sports, including agility.

CPE (Canine Performance Events) is increasing in popularity, especially among those who have succeeded in AKC agility. Mixed breeds as well as purebred animals are permitted to compete for titles.

USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association) is known for permitting crossbreeds to obtain titles, along with purebred dogs.

UKC (United Kennel Club) is known for its smaller and more compact obstacle courses that require more performance accuracy and control, regardless of the particular breed disadvantages.

NADAC (North American dog Agility Council), in which dogs must be 18 months of age or older to start the competition, and may be mixed breeds.

ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club in America) is not only for the Australian Shepherd dogs. All dogs and cross breeds are welcomed there. Regulations of this club are similar to those in NADAC.

Registration of dogs in the UK Kennel Club

The activity of the UK Kennel Club (The Kennel Club) is devoted to maintaining the canine well-being. The club has 250 000 registered pedigree dogs and miscellaneous crossbreeds passing registration at the club every year as well.

The Kennel Club welcomes both purebred dogs and mixed breeds and possesses a registry suitable for all animals having a pedigree or being a hybrid. All sorts of dogs are able to participate.

The formal requirements for participation in the licensed Kennel Club agility show are rather simple:

  • Your dog has to be registered with the Club on the breed or activity registry.

  • All competitors, participating in any Kennel Club licensed competition, should familiarize themselves with its rules and regulations in advance. The instructions for agility can be found in the booklet - Agility and Flyball Regulations.

  • Dogs are only allowed to participate at the age of 18 months and older, being officially measured and added to the correct height category.

  • You will need to get an Agility record book (journal) (available in the online Club’s shop), in which the height category of your dog and all the won competitions and clear heats will be registered.

Hybrid dogs often reveal the mixture of their parents’ traits. This is important to remember if you have conceived to buy a puppy or adopt an adult dog. If you already know the exact mixture of breeds, this can help you to plan your dog exercise, otherwise try to find out about its parents as much as possible.

Kennel Club registration of mixed breeds

This Club has been registering mixed breed dogs in its database for more than 50 years. If you are planning getting a mixed breed, the Kennel Club registration will allow you to take advantage of many benefits offered by the membership. The Activity Register and Register of Companion Dogs have multiple benefits that can improve your experience as crossbreed dog owner.

All crossbreeds are welcomed on Scruffts show – the national competition created exclusively for mixed breed dogs. Scruffts in England is the popular match and a great way to enjoy time spending with your pet and together with your family.

The Kennel Club coordinates Scruffts rounds all across the UK. The winners of each round are invited to Crufts show for the Scruffts Grand Final competitions.

To be eligible for competitions the dog at the time of entry must be registered by the Kennel Club in accordance with its rules and regulations under the name of its owner. In the case of joint registered owners, full name of each owner should be given.

Introduction into the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) Dog Registration

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) conducts quite a rigorous selection among the applicants for competitions.

In order to qualify for the title of FCI International Champion, the dog must:

  1. belong to any breed included in the approved dog breeds basis, recognized by the FCI in accordance with the FCI Breeds Nomenclature.

  2. be a purebred animal. Any dog is considered to be a purebred, if its pedigree includes three complete previous generations, registered in FCI, with a recognized studbook (registration in the applications to the studbooks is not valid). That is - the dog's name, initials of the FCI recognized stud book, plus its registration number.

In addition, the conditions must be observed for awarding the CACIAG certificate (Certificat d'Aptitude au Championnat International d'Agility) - Certificate of Aptitude for the International Agility Championship, as described in various international standards and other FCI requirements (Agility Regulations of the Federation Cynologique Internationale, Regulations for the FCI International Championship).

The major agility organizations in England, USA, Canada and Australia, responsible for the competition funding, and generally policing this sport allow dogs of any breed to compete. Purebred dogs, rare breeds, mixed breeds, any ‘four-footed’ representatives may take part in agility competitions.

Limitations, for sure, exist, but when your dog is registered with one of these clubs or national organization, affiliated to the club, you will be granted an access to the unprecedented source of information, experience and advice on how to take care of your pet, keep it healthy and get a professional training.

Registering your dog with the organization also means it will be able to take part in numerous local and international competitions sanctioned by this organization. Such activities, including everything from funny matches to serious competitions, provide an opportunity to improve the professional level, meet other owners / dog handlers, learn more about dogs, and simply have a pleasure from participation.