This sport is fast paced and fun, which is part of the reason why agility caught on so quickly and converted so many owners and dogs in such a short period of time. Many dog owners begin training in agility just for fun. This mentality often lasts only until the first competition, when you realize that agility trials are fun, too.
Part of what makes this sport so entertaining is that shepherds love the challenge of flying through an obstacle course under the direction and coaching of their handlers. Obstacles may include tunnels, suspended tires to jump through, teeter-totters, A-frames, and a line of poles through which the dog weaves. The American Kennel Club (AKC), North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC), and the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) all hold agility events, and all are very similar in judging and structure. Basically the classes are judged on the dog's completion of the course, with deductions made for knocking down poles, avoiding an obstacle, or not hitting a precise marker when coming off a ramp. If there is a tie between competitors, the dogs' times are used to determine placements. As you might have guessed, faster is better.
What keeps the event fresh for handlers is that every course at every agility trial is different. The potential combinations of obstacles and course layouts are virtually infinite, so the sport never gets stale. Intelligent breeds like the shepherd don't know the exercises by heart, as they often do in obedience.
Jumping is an important part of your dog's agility.
Agility does require a shepherd that is healthy and not suffering from any musculoskeletal diseases. It is also easiest to start out in the sport if you can locate a nearby agility club or training class. In this way, you can receive experienced instruction and have access to the complete array of obstacles without having to build or obtain them yourself.