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The real guide to what's what

We're looking for agility terms not listed in the 'official' Kennel Club list as well as great pictures to illustrate the them. Just how do you explain phrases like 'Double Handling' or illustrate 'Paddling?' You'll notice some obvious absentees - like lead out, right-hand weaves, caller and bacon butties. Now can you see why we need your help.

If you have any suggestions for new agility terms or great photo, drawing or cartoon illustrating any of the words or phrases below, just send it email to Agilitynet or snail mail it to Ellen Rocco, 38 Northolme Road, London N5 2UU. All pictures will be returned. Just put your address on the back. It's not as easy as it looks!




Photo: Martin Posnette
A class limited to any breed of dog except a collie or collie X.
Agility course

Photo: Fiona Hulse
Includes obstacles with contact areas/equipment in addition to jumps tunnels, weaves.
Angled Weaves
Weaves that will pivot at base to different angles, used as training aid.
Two ramps 3ft wide hinged at the apex from the ground. The last 3ft 6ins from the bottom of each ramp should be a contrasting colour to indicate the area with which the dog should make contact. Each ramp to have a non-slip surface and anti-slip slats at intervals, 6ins from contact.
Banking When dog steps on or walks through wishing well, long jump or water jump
Rod or stick usually wood or plastic exchanged between competitors but remaining in the box in relay events, pairs or team. It is no longer customary for a competitor to carry the baton when turning with their dog.
Area marked with poles at start/finish of course in relay events where baton change may be required.
Briefing Held immediately before the start of each class to enable the judge to announce the course time, identify the start/finish points and any special requirements for the course. In special classes any variation from standard marking must be explained.
Brush fence
A hurdle with brush base constructed of twigs. Rarely used in agility these days.
Channel Weaves
Two lines of weaves, leaving a channel though which the dog runs and will close together, used to teach a dog to weave.  Weaves can have guide wires from pole to pole (to help keep dog in channel)
Clear round
When dog and handler complete a course within the course time without course faults.

Collapsible tunnel

Photo: Tien Trans

Circular of non-rigid material construction, with rigid entrance. Also known as chute, cloth or soft tunnel.
Contact points/areas

Photo: Kay Westgate
Areas at the bases of the A frame, plank walk, cross over, the ends of the seesaw, marked in contrasting colour, often yellow, which the dog must touch when ascending and alighting from the obstacle, or incur penalty points.
Numbered pattern of obstacles, minimum ten (10), maximum twenty (20), designed by the judge for competition within the test area with designated start and finish.
Course fault Penalty incurred in units of five (5) when dog and handler do not successfully negotiate obstacles e.g. handler touching dog or equipment, dog knocking down pole, missing contact points/areas, refusal.
Course time The time set by the judge in which the course must be completed without incurring time faults, one fault for each second or part thereof by which time is exceeded.
Cross over
Four planks approximately 12ft long. Width 10 ins minimum 12ins maximum secured fixed to a metal table frame 4ft high with a top 2ft 8ins square. The obstacle may be used with two or more planks but must be of stable construction. The last 3ft from the bottom of each ramp should be a different colour to indicate the area with which the dog should make contact. Each ramp to have a non-slip surface, and anti-slip slats at intervals but not within 6ins of the start of a contact area.
A plank approximately 4ft 6ins high with firmly fixed ramps at either end with contact areas. The last 3ft from the bottom of each ramp should be a different colour to indicate the area with which the dog should make contact. Each ramp to have a non-slip surface, and anti-slip slats at intervals but not within 6ins of the start of a contact area.
Double handling When an individual other than the dog's own handler attempts to assist the competing dog and handler, usually from outside the ring and which must be penalised by the judge.
Electronic timing
When dog's time is recorded by electronic equipment, the dog breaking beams at start and finish of the course. Photo: Martin Pollard
When dog and handler are no longer eligible to continue the course for competition, but at the judges discretion may complete the course or continue for the duration of the course time. Elimination will follow three refusals/run by, dog taking the wrong course, proceeding to the next obstacle before satisfactory completion of the preceding obstacle, if the dog is out of control, runs out of the ring, fouls the ring, is aggressive, handled or trained by the handler.
Elimination and out
When dog and handler are required to leave the ring immediately on elimination. This is at the judge's discretion and should be announced during the briefing.
Flick Flack


2/3 jumps in a parallel line (sometimes more) i.e. over 1, back over 2 and over 3. Also called a 'snake.'Diagram: Andy Farrington
Frame Tyre (See Hoop) Wooden or metal frame, surrounding tyre or tyre hangs on open frame from ropes or chains.
Hoop (Tyre)
Hoop or Tyre mounted within a frame structure. Aperture diameter 1ft 6in minimum. Aperture centre from the ground 3ft. The height of the hoop should not be lowered. The frame and fixtures must be substantial or secured in such a way that dogs cannot knock the obstacle over from either direction. Where tyres/hoops are mounted within a frame structure the mechanism securing the tyre should be covered by a suitable padding. Photo: Alan Score
An easily displaceable pole 4ft minimum in length resting on cups between two wings.

Photo: Action Shots

Official who designs the course, judges each dog and handler in turn. indicating faults and penalties to scribe steward by signal or verbally.
Jumping Course
Includes jumps/hurdles, tunnels, weave, but not obstacles with contact areas.

Photo: Alison Howe

KC Registration
Only dogs registered with the KC may compete at KC licensed shows. There is a special working register for non-pedigree dogs. Only clubs registered with the KC may organise and run a KC licensed Agility Test.
Knock Down When dog dislodges pole from hurdle or brick from top of wall.
Lollipop Tyre
(See Hoop)
Long Jump

Photo: Alan Score
Three to five (3-5) separate units comprise a long jump, each unit a minimum length of 1.219m (4ft). The maximum overall length 1.524m (5ft). The height of the front unit 127mm (5ins) and the height of the rear unit 38lmm (15ins). Marker Poles with a minimum height of approximately 1.219m (4ft) are placed at the four corners.
Manual timing

When dog's time is recorded manually by time keeper.
Mini competition

Photo: Alan Score
For mini dogs only who may not enter midi or standard classes at the same event.


Mini dog
Dog measuring 15ins or below at the withers.
Midi competition
For midi dogs only who may not enter standard classes at the same event.
Midi dog

Photo: Peter van Dongen
Dog measuring above 15ins and 17ins or below at the withers.
Missed contact
When dog fails to touch any part of the contact area.
Nothing But Collies, a class limited to collies.
NFC Not For Competition. Dogs not entered in a show must be listed on the entry form as NFC.

Photo: Gina Graham
See Banking.

Pairs relay

Competition consisting of two consecutive runs by each dog and handler which may be over the same or different courses, often with a baton change between handlers.

Pause Box

Area defined on the ground where dog may be required to halt in the down position for a stipulated count, usually five seconds.
Pipe tunnel

Photo: Andy Farrington
This obstacle should have a diameter of a diameter of a minimum of 2ft and should be a minimum of 10ft in length. Also known as rigid tunnel


Proof of posting

Record obtainable, free of charge, from Post Office confirms postage of individual letters and is accepted by KC as evidence in cases where show entries have been lost in the post.
Pull Through
When the dog is required to jump a Hurdle and then is pulled through the gap between the Hurdle it just jumped and the Hurdle beside it. (See Figure 1.)
When a dog fails to attempt an obstacle. Three refusals lead to elimination.
Relay (pairs/team) When dog and handler run course consecutively, often with baton change.
Ring (test area)
Marked area for competition measuring minimum 3 5 x 35 yards (or less at indoor venues), containing course of obstacles where dogs and handlers are judged.
Ring Caller/Steward
Official/individual who ensures that competitors listed for class are present and run in order.
Ring number
Number allocated to dog for entire show - usually based on alphabetical order of owner's name, which must be displayed by handler when competing.
Rising Spread Jump
Photo: Alan Score
A maximum of two single jumps as in hurdle placed together to form a double spread. There must be no more than two elements to this obstacle.


Competitive round undertaken by dog and handler.
Running order
Numerical order in which dogs compete, arranged by random draw for each class.
Run out/by/under
When a dog passes rather than attempts an obstacle, incurring a refusal penalty.


Printed notice of an Agility Test including standard information required by KC e.g. host club, venue, entry fees, classification, awards offered, judges and all other relevant information.
Scribe Steward
The official responsible for recording faults as indicated by the judge and times taken by time steward for each competitive round.

Photo: Martin Pollard
The official responsible for recording faults as indicated by the judge and times measured by the electronic timer for each competitive round. Word coined by Anni Telford and Andy Farrington.

Score Board Marker

Records individual dog's scores and works out winning places.
This obstacle consists of a plank, minimum length 12 ft, maximum 14 ft, firmly mounted on a central bracket, maximum 2ft 3ins from the ground, with a contact area at each end. The last 3ft from the bottom of each end should be a different colour to indicate the area with which the dog should make contact. Each plank to have a non-slip surface. It may have anti-slip slats at intervals but not within 6ins of the start of a contact area.
Photo: Mary Ann Nester
Show Manager
Officer of a KC registered society responsible for the organisation and running of a show.
Show Secretary
Officer of a KC registered society responsible for the administration of show.

Three jumps in a line. (See flick-flack.)
Special classes
Distinct from standard classification with special requirements as defined by the show society, which do not count towards progression in standard classes. Including Gamblers, Helter Skelter, Time Fault & Out, Snooker, Mini Maxi etc.
Standard classification Classes of increasing difficulty (Elementary... Advanced) in which eligibility is determined by number of wins by dog and handler/owner. Open classes open to all.
Standard marking
Defined in KC agility regulations H(1)(B) five (5) which must be adhered to in standard classes.
3ft sq. minimum. Height 2ft 6ins of stable construction with a not-slip surface.
Team Event
Usually four separate dogs and handlers running consecutively as a relay with total team time or with each dog timed separately. At Crufts Dog Show one member from each team competes in each of four rounds.
The BIG 'E'
Threadle Several pull-throughs sequenced in a straight line.
Time Faults
Penalties incurred in individual units corresponding to the number of seconds or part thereof by which the dog's time exceeds the course time.
Time Keeper (Timer) Official responsible for taking and recording the time taken by each dog to complete a course, which may be by manual or more likely now, electronic method.
To fly the seesaw
When a dog alights from the see saw before it has touched the ground.

Photo: Alan Mitchell

Touch mark
See contact points.
See Hoop.
A jump of wall-like construction with displaceable units on top.
Water Jump
The overall spread shall not exceed 5ft with a minimum width of 3ft. A low hurdle or brush, with a maximum height of 2ft may be placed in front of the water. Marker poles, minimum height 4ft, placed on all four corners.

Weaving poles

The minimum number of poles should be five and the maximum number 12. The poles must be of rigid construction and with a minimum height of 2ft 6ins. The poles should be a minimum of 1ft 6ins, maximum 2ft apart.

Wishing Well or Lych Gate

This obstacle will have a roof of which the bottom will not be less than 1 ft from the ground. It will have a displaceable top bar the height of which will be 2ft 6ins. The minimum width should be 2ft 6ins.
Wrong entry

Photo: Gina Graham
When a dog enters the, start of the weaving poles from the wrong side or passes the second pole before entry. This counts as a refusal.


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