Agility FAQs

What do I enter—Novice A, Novice B or Novice Preferred

Novice A is for a handler that has not put a title on a dog in AKC agility. So if you do not have a title in any other class you go in Novice A. Everyone else enters Novice B. In the Novice Preferred class the dog’s jump height is 4” lower than the one he would normally jump and the dog gets 5 more seconds added to his normal jump height’s time. Anyone can enter Novice Preferred. There aren’t any restrictions. Some of the reasons people enter Novice Preferred is because the lower jump height and the added time benefits a dog that is older. It is easier for dogs with a certain size or build or for dogs coming back from an injury or for a slower dog or handler.

I want to enter Regular classes on Saturday and Preferred classes on Sunday, how do I do that?

Effective Jan 1, 2020, you may enter a mixture of both Regular and Preferred classes during a trial weekend.  Either on the same day or other trial day. Any mixture of Regular and Preferred classes is allowed.  Note that double Q’s can only be earned if both Standard and JWW are either both in Regular OR both in Preferred in the same trial day.

A separate entry form must be submitted when the same dog is being entered in a mixture of Regular and Preferred and/or different jump heights within the same trial weekend.

What jump height should I enter?

Just ask your trainer. They probably know what height your dog is going to jump. When your dog gets measured at the show officially, if he measures into another jump height, we will change it then. You will need 3 official measurements by a VMO for an official jump height card. You must jump your jump height on the official jump height card unless you are running in Preferred (lower than your jump height card) or 24C. 24 Choice can be entered by anyone as a higher height. Usually you will see this for 20″ dogs working on international courses. Jump heights are outlined in Regulations for Agility Trials that can be found on the AKC website.

Entering for Exhibition Only (FEO) (effective July 1, 2024)

FEO will allow exhibitors to work with their dogs in a trial environment. Participation in FEO is non-qualifying. FEO will get SCT in FAST and T2B. In all other classes FEO will be limited to 45 seconds.

  • FEO runs are treated as trial entries. The exhibitor must enter the class(es) prior to the closing date, pay class entry fee(s) and the Trial Secretary must record the entry in the Trial Catalog as part of the results for that class.  FEO does not need to be noted on the entry form; the handler will declare the day of the show.
  • Dogs may be entered in any jump height for FEO runs. If entered in an ineligible jump height, the team is committed to FEO for that run and must declare FEO on the start line. Day of show jump height changes are not allowed.
  • Dogs may be entered in any level of any class (Novice, Open, Excellent, Master). If the dog is not eligible for the level entered, the team is committed to FEO for that run and must declare FEO on the start line. Day of show level changes are not allowed.
  • The exhibitor must declare FEO in the ring prior to leading out. FEO may be declared earlier (ex. when checking in at the gate board).
  • Toys are allowed in the ring
    • Toys must be non-audible
    • Toys may not leave the handler’s hand
    • Toys that roll freely cannot be used
  • Food/treats are not allowed in the ring
  • FEO should be utilized for the benefit of the dog and not as a punitive correction. Harsh verbal and /or physical corrections shall not be tolerated. Any determination of harshness by the judge shall be immediately whistled and the handler will be dismissed from the ring.
  • A judge must monitor the entire run. Judges can stop a run at any time
What is FNG?

Fix And Go (FNG) is a one-time allowance for training in the ring that can be used on any run, at any time. For example, your dog misses a contact. You can call your dog back and re-attempt the contact. Before FNG existed, you did not have the option to re-attempt any obstacle. Another example: if your dog misses a difficult weave pole entry, you can add the obstacle before the weaves in your re-attempt so you recreate the same angle of approach. Before FNG, you had 3 tries to complete the weaves and were not permitted to do the obstacle before the weaves. You may also reset a bar if you dog knocks a bar and go back 1-2 obstacles to redo this sequence. You are only allowed one FNG during a run and all must be completed during allotted course time.

My confirmation says I need to be measured but I have a jump height card? What do I do?

Don’t worry.  As long as the AKC has a height card on file for you, it doesn’t matter what our confirmation says. To straighten it out, email your local trial secretary to let her know you have a height card. Make sure you get a reply.

What is the run order going to be?

Our run order stays the same most of the time. Our running order usually has games first (T2B and FAST) then Excellent/Masters STD/JWW then Open STD/JWW then Novice STD/JWW. Premier runs either before or after Excellent/Masters. Sometimes you will run JWW before STD.

The running order is built on the history of the number of dogs in the class. We try to time classes so there are as few conflicts as possible. Sometimes it doesn’t run as smooth as we’d like for different reasons. For example, one judge has a course that is 198 yards and the other has a course that is 130 yards. This will cause one ring to move faster than the other ring, and we might have a ring down waiting for the other ring OR we may change the running order to keep the show moving. Occasionally something happens but we try to keep the basic running order for all shows.

The final run order will be included in the judging schedule that will be sent after the closing date of the trial and posted on the website.

What time does my dog run?

Estimated arrival time for each class is on the judging schedule. It is far from perfect. Generally, the estimated arrival time is ½ hour before you start the walk through for the games and the start of Excellent/Masters. Estimated arrival time does not give you time to unpack your stuff and walk your dog. As you get into Open and Novice most of the time you will have quite a bit more time before the walk through starts. Lots of things determine the actual start time of Open and Novice. For example, how fast the judge is, the length of the course, if the judge is a measuring judge (VMO) and has to measure a lot of dogs, etc.

I entered a show, but now I can't go? Can I get a refund?

The information on refunds is on the left side of the first page in our premiums. Each club decides on what refunds it will do. There are only 2 refunds that are required according to AKC rules:

  1. You will get a full refund if you pull your dog before the closing date and time.
  2. If your bitch goes into season you get a full refund minus a handling fee if you notify the trial secretary before the show starts. The handling fee with us is $5.00.

The AKC does not require a club to give any other refunds. However, most of the clubs we work with will give a 50% refund if a dog or handler is injured and sends us a Dr.’s note. Please check the premium.

I finished my title on Saturday, can I move up to the next level on Saturday for Sunday's trial?

Yes, you can move up at a trial for the next day’s trial. This is usually done right after you have finished your title with a move up form. For future trials, you must contact the trial secretary for that trial separately. You will not be automatically moved up for future trials. 

Will there be printed maps at the trial?

There will be maps posted on the side of the trailer (or another convenient place). Maps will be emailed each morning of the trial and will be available in the AgiltyGate app. Printed maps will not be available at the show.

What is AgilityGate?

AgilityGate is an app that we use to check in people for their runs. With the app you can go to a class and check-in, scratch, let the gate know you are FEO or that you have a conflict. When the class is running you can see who is running in the ring. The running order will update automatically as dogs are checked in, when they run, etc. You can stay in your set-up and keep an eye on the running order to see when you are due up. Open and Novice people can see what classes are running to have a better idea how slow or quick the show is running. You can go to the app store that you download your apps from to download AgilityGate.  The AgilityGate code is available in the judging schedule of the trial.