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Tolling and Retrieving


    Tolling Agility is a sport that Tollers love and excel at. There are a variety of obstacles which the dog must negotiate, these include a variety of jumps (bar jumps, solid jumps, spread jumps, long jumps and tire jumps), the pipe tunnel (which can be straight or curved into interesting angles), and the collapsed tunnel or "Chute" (an 8-12' long fabric tube attached to a 2' rigid tunnel, the dog must go through the tunnel then push its way through the tube).

    There are also weave poles (6-12 upright poles in a row spaced 18-24" apart, the dog must weave around all the poles without missing any), and a table (the dog must jump on this and sit or lay down for a count of 5) or pause box (an area of the course 3' square marked with tape or PVC pipe, the dog must step in and sit or lay down for a count of 5).


    Heading out for the bird Then there are the "contact obstacles", these are the A-Frame (2 wide ramps 3-4' wide and 8-9' long connected to form an A, the dog must go up one side and down the other), Dog Walk (3 planks 12" wide and 8-12' long connected so that there is an up ramp, a straight-across plank 3-4' off the ground, and another ramp that heads back down to the ground), Cross Over (somewhat like the dogwalk, but with 4 ramps leading to a square table top 4' off the ground) and the Teeter-Totter or See-Saw (a 12" wide and 12' long plank modeled after the children's playground toy...the dog goes up the plank, across and then down as the dog's weight tilts the plank).

    The contact obstacles have what are called "contact zones", these are areas at the bottom of the ramps. They are usually painted yellow and are 36-42" long. The dog must place at least one paw on the up and down contact zones as it performs the obstacle or the dog will receive faults. This is to ensure the dogs safety as it could be injured taking wild leaps onto or off an obstacle.


    Canada Goose Sometimes you will see some other obstacles in an agility course, these can include a "wishing well" jump, a window jump (solid wall with a cut-out window the dog jumps through), a crawl tunnel (very low "tunnel" with a fabric top and open sides that the dog must crawl through), a hoop tunnel (a series of angled hoops that the dog must run through) and a sway bridge (much like the sway bridge often seen on children's playgrounds, but only a few inches off the ground and with ramps (with contact zones) leading the dog up and down from the bridge).




    Toller with a duck You can do agility just for fun, or you can compete for titles and ribbons. There are numerous clubs that offer competitions including USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association), NADAC (North American Dog Agility Club), UKC (United Kennel Club), AAC (Agility Association of Canada), AKC (American Kennel Club), CKC (Canadian Kennel Club), ASCA (Australian Shepherd Club of America - their agility trials are open to all breeds, not just Aussies!) and CPE (Canine Performance Events). All the clubs except AKC and CKC allow mixed breeds as well as registered purebred dogs.



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