Agility Association of Canada

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Agility Association of Canada (AAC) is a dog agility organization in Canada. Agility began in Canada when Art Newman, of North Gower, Ontario, founded what was then referred to as the Agility Dog Association of Canada in 1988. It quickly spread from central Ontario outwards to ultimately encompassing almost all of the provinces and territories. As of June 2005, there were 103 officially recognised membership clubs listed and hundreds of unofficial clubs thriving throughout Canada.

Levels and Divisions[edit]

Performance Levels[edit]

There are 3 performance levels in AAC agility - Starters, Advanced, and Masters. All dogs must start off at a Starters level and may only climb to the next level when they have achieved enough legs or "Q's" to complete a title. Once a title is completed they then must move up to the next level at the next trial they attend.

Class Levels[edit]

There are 3 class levels in AAC agility - Regular, Specials, and Veterans. Most dogs enter at a Regular class level in their respective height divisions. A dog may be moved to or start in the Specials division and will have to jump one height lower than what their Regular height would be. This is usually done in special circumstances such as when a dog measures just over its Regular height or the dog's build isn't conducive to performing at its Regular height. A dog may be entered in the Veterans division when they reach the age of 7 or if the dog is over the age of 5 and has been competing in Specials for a minimum of 12 months.


There are up to 6 height divisions available to compete in within the 3 class levels. The Regular class offers 8", 12" 16", 20" and 24" height divisions. Specials and Veterans offers 4" 8" 12" 16" and 20" height divisions. A dog will be measured at the highest point of its scapula to determine what height division it will compete in. The handler is given a choice of what division the dog will compete in according to the chart below:

Dog Height Regular Special Veteran
12" or less 8" or 12" 4" 4"
>12" to 15" 12" or 16" 8" 4" or 8"
>15" to 18" 16" or 20" 12" 8" or 12"
>18" to 22" 20" or 24" 16" 12" or 16"
>22" 24" 20" 16 or 20"



AAC offers 6 classes that a dog and handler can compete in: Standard, Steeplechase, and the games Gamblers, Jumpers, Snooker, and Team Relay.

The Standard Class is a course consisting of obstacles that must be performed in a set order under a specific time frame. In Starters the course must have a minimum of 15 obstacles and maximum of 17 obstacles with at least one change of handling and some minor obstacle discrimination. In Advanced the course must have a minimum of 17 obstacles and maximum of 19 obstacles with a greater amount of distance and directional control at a faster speed. A Masters course must have a minimum of 18 obstacles and maximum of 20 obstacles with the dog switching easily from side to side at a fast pace, discerning between major obstacle discriminations, and working at further distances with greater control.

The Challenge class is to provide a Standard course that test the speed and handling skills of the agility team at an international level. The course design for this class should reflect World Championship level Standard agility courses in their pace, difficulty and handling requirements. The dog and handler team must navigate the course as set by the judge, in accordance with current masters Standard performance rules. Only dogs eligible to compete in Masters Standard may enter the Challenge class for placement and qualifying scores. [2]

The Steeplechase demonstrates a dog's ability to maintain a high speed while jumping along with performing the A-frame and weave poles with control. This class is run with the same number of obstacles as the Standard class. The Steeplechase must incorporate at least 6 jumps, a tunnel, the A-frame, 12 weaves poles, the tire jump, and the spread jump with either the weave poles or A-frame being used twice.

Gamblers involves accumulating as many points as possible via point-valued obstacles in the "opening" before having to perform the "gamble". The gamble involves executing the gamble obstacles in a prescribed order from a great distance fault free. If the dog successfully completes the gamble then the opening points will double. If a dog attempts the gamble but isn't successful then the opening points value will be kept. If a dog does not attempt the gamble in the required time a total of zero points will be awarded. Points in the opening sequence are as follows:

single jump 1 Point
tunnel/chute (chute is currently suspended) 2 Points
tire/spread jump 2 Points
<10 weaves 2 Points
contact obstacles 3 Points
judge's obstacle of choice 4 Points
10-12 weaves or dog walk 5 Points

The gamble will be assigned a time of 40 seconds in the opening and 20 seconds or more for the Starters level, 18 seconds or more for the Advanced level, and 15 seconds or more for the Masters level. The gamble sequence must consist of 3 obstacles in Starters, 3-4 obstacles in Advanced, and 3-5 obstacles in Masters. To qualify a Regular dog must achieve an opening point total 20 points in Starters/Advanced and 28 points in Masters while Veteran dogs must accumulate an opening point total 16 points in Starters/Advanced and 22 points in Masters along with successfully completing the gamble.

Jumpers involves a course of jumps and tunnels that will demonstrate the dog's natural jumping ability. To qualify the dog must complete the course fault free under the standard course time. In Starters traps (decoy jumps or tunnels) or not allowed whereas in Advanced and Masters traps are allowed along with weaves poles in the Masters level only.

Snooker is derived from the billiard game of the same name. The object is to accumulate as many points as possible before the clock runs out. Each obstacle is assigned a specific point value from 2 to 7 with 3 or 4 red jumps interspersed throughout valued at 1 point. Obstacles numbered 2-7 must be laid out in a Standard course fashion to be attempted in the closing sequence. In the opening a dog must successfully complete a single red jump before moving onto one of the point obstacles then another red jump/obstacle combo and so on - all at the handler's choice. A red jump may only be taken once. If the red jump is faulted the dog must complete another red jump before attempting an obstacle of choice. After a minimum of 3 red jump/obstacle combinations the dog may then attempt the closing sequence and proceed to the finish line. To qualify and Regular Starters or Advanced dog must accumulate 37 points (Veteran dogs need 32 points) while a Masters dog must accumulate 40 points (Veterans need only 34 points).

The Team Relay consists of a team of 2, 3, or 4 dogs and handlers where each team member completes a section of a Standard course before passing a baton to the next team member who continues on with the next section of the course and so on. The baton is passed within an exchange box where those team members not running have to reside until the baton is passed off to them. To qualify all team members must run a clean round. In Starters and Advanced each dog is required to perform a minimum of 9 obstacles and no more than 10 obstacles with one contact and a set of 6 weave poles required on course. In Masters each dog is required to perform a minimum of 12 obstacles with one contact and a minimum of 10 weave poles required on course.


There are 11 titles that can awarded to a dog who completes the minimum requirements in its respective division and level. All of the titles can also be awarded to Special and Veteran level dogs with either an S or V preceding the title - hence a Special level dog could be awarded the Special Agility Dog of Canada (SADC) and a Veteran level dog could be awarded the Veteran Agility Dog of Canada (VADC).

Title Abbreviation Requirements
Agility Dog of Canada ADC 3 clear rounds in the Starters Standard class under at least 2 different judges
Starters Games Dog of Canada SGDC 2 clear rounds each of Gamblers, Snooker, and Jumpers under at least 2 different judges
Advanced Agility Dog of Canada AADC 3 clear rounds in the Advanced Standard class under at least 2 different judges
Advanced Games Dog of Canada AGDC 3 clear rounds each of Gamblers, Snooker, and Jumpers under at least 2 different judges
Master Agility Dog of Canada MADC 3 clear rounds in the Masters Standard class under at least 2 different judges
Masters Gamblers Dog of Canada MGDC 4 clear rounds in the game of Masters Gamblers under at least 2 different judges
Masters Snooker Dog of Canada MSDC 4 clear rounds in the game of Masters Snooker under at least 2 different judges
Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada MJDC 4 clear rounds in the game of Masters Jumper under at least 2 different judges
Masters Team Relay Dog of Canada MTRDC 4 clear rounds in the game of Masters Team Relay under at least 2 different judges
Agility Trial Champion of Canada ATChC must achieve the following titles: Master Agility Dog of Canada, Masters Gamblers, Masters Jumpers, and Masters Snooker
Masters Steeplechase Dog of Canada MSCDC 10 qualifiers in the game of Steeplechase under at least 4 different judges

After the coveted ATChC/SATChC/VATChC is achieved a dog may then work towards the following awards using a combination of Master Standard classes, Master Games classes, and Steeplechase qualifying scores:

Title Standard Class Games/Steeplechase
Bronze Award of Merit 10 25
Silver Award of Merit 25 50
Gold Award of Merit 50 100
Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence 100 125


External links[edit]