What Is a Good Breed of Dog for Agility?

by Betty Lewis
    Your dog doesn't have to compete; he can do agility for fun, exercise and training.

    Your dog doesn't have to compete; he can do agility for fun, exercise and training.

    Apple Tree House/Lifesize/Getty Images

    Dog agility is a competitive sport that requires dogs to jumps hurdles, weave through poles, navigate a seesaw and run through tunnels, racing against the clock. It tests a dog's athletic ability and your ability as a handler. While some dog breeds have specific qualities making them gifted agility dogs, any breed of dog can take part.

    In the competitive world of dog agility, border collies rule. According to the United States Dog Agility Association's website, in past and present competition, border collies dominate in their class. Shetland sheepdogs and poodles compete well too, as do Pembroke Welsh corgis, papillons and terriers, such as the Jack Russell and rat terriers.

    Some breeds are predisposed to excel at agility because of the personality traits they possess. A successful agility dog will be easy to motivate and willing to work -- if he's neither, he won't have much reason to find his way through a tunnel or jump over a hurdle. Other helpful traits include self-confidence, focus, high energy level and athletic ability. Though border collies often top the charts in competition, more than 150 different breeds of dogs have successfully competed in agility.

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    About the Author

    Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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