Displaying the Doberman's Athletic Prowess

Agility is an ideal sport for the Doberman Pinscher. An agility dog needs to be athletic, obedient, and sharp-witted; just what the Doberman was bred to be.

Doberman TurningAn agility contest is an obstacle course built for dogs. The handler is in the ring guiding the dog with voice commands and hand and body signals. In a specified order, the dog must clear jumps, scale a six-foot A-frame, weave quickly through a set of poles, shoot through tunnels, nimbly cross an elevated dog walk, pause in the sit or down position in a pause box or on a table, manage over a see-saw, and negotiate a number of other types of obstacles; all this in under a specified time, the Standard Course Time (SCT). Score is determined by subtracting any faults accumulated by not properly clearing any obstacles and completing the course over the SCT.

Several organization sponsor Agility events including AKC, the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA), the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC), and the United Kennel Club (UKC). These organizations divide competition up into height classifications for the obvious need to construct properly sized obstacles and maintain fairness. Also common are experience classifications such as Novice, intermediate, and advanced. Some organizations further divide classifications for older dogs and young handlers.

Besides being an excellent stage for showing off the athletic prowess of the Doberman Pinscher, agility competitions are yet another way of correcting popular misconceptions about the Doberman's character.