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  • What is dog agility?
    Dog agility is an exhilarating dog sport that showcases the partnership between dog and handlers In this fast-paced and dynamic activity, dogs navigate through a challenging obstacle course, including bar jumps, pipe tunnels, weave poles, and contact equipment, all while responding to their handler's cues. The goal is to complete the course with precision, speed, and accuracy. Communication, teamwork, and physical strength are key as dogs swiftly to maneuver over and through obstacles, demonstrating their athleticism and intelligence. Dog agility not only fosters a strong bond between dogs and their handlers but also provides a thrilling and entertaining spectacle for spectators to enjoy. It celebrates the natural abilities of dogs and their capacity to learn and adapt, making it a favorite among dog enthusiasts worldwide.
  • When can my dog start agility training?
    That is an excellent question, and the answer is a little more complicated to answer than you may expect. For me, it comes down to two critical things: the experience/knowledge level of the instructor, and if the curriculum of the class for which you are registering. Knowledgeable instructors will know exactly how to keep a puppy safe while training. Skills presented will be age appropriate and will not put the puppy’s physical or mental development at risk. In agility the riskiest obstacles are jumps, contacts and weave poles. Young dogs have growing bodies, and repetitive, physically demanding training like agility should be introduced slowly to the puppy as they reach very specific age milestones. For example, no contact equipment before 12 months of age, and no weaving until 14 months of age. These age milestones are a general rule for small and medium sized dogs. Large and giant breed dogs should wait even longer – 18 to 24 months. Here at MDS, puppies can begin our Sports Puppy classes as early as 8-weeks of age. Every skill taught will be age appropriate. This is based on the feedback provided by the professionals that know best – Veterinarians and Physiotherapists experienced in treating sport dogs.
  • What class level should I sign up for?
    Sports Puppy - For puppies under 1-year of age. Foundations - For dogs over 1-year that have had no prior agility training. If you and your dog have trained at another facility or with private instructor we may require to see you in person to do a skills evaluation to determine which class level will suite the current level of skill and knowledge. Below however is a general guideline for what class level could be appropriate: Foundations For teams that have completed foundations or introductory classes elsewhere, but did not receive sufficient foundations training and are now struggling. For dogs that lack value for their handler, stress, wander, sniff, scratch, visit others, try to escape the ring, refuse handler cues, or refuse to take obstacles. For teams that have not yet begun any contact training. Novice For teams beginning to back chain their contact performance; no issues with contact performance criteria. For teams that are struggling with their contact performance criteria. For teams that have not yet begun any weave training. Advanced For teams ready to proof contact performance on full height equipment. For teams struggling with contact performance criteria on full height equipment. For teams that are struggling with contact performance criteria while sequencing/under arousal. For teams that can weave 6 poles minimum. Course Work For teams that can sequence 15-25 obstacles. Contacts are proofed and competition ready. Weaves are proofed and competition ready.
  • How long will I have to attend classes before my dog and I are ready for competition?
    Our curriculum is thoughtfully designed to provide an optimal learning journey across five distinct tiers of training: Sports Puppy (optional), Foundations, Novice, Advanced, and Course Work. At MDS, we prioritize the development of competitive dog and handler teams, fostering growth through skillful progression rather than a linear approach. When a handler and dog can sufficiently demonstrate the skills taught at their current class level they can be graduated to the next level of training. Enrollment in our Sports Puppy and/or Foundations classes typically requires 1-year of weekly commitment to training. Diligent commitment to both in-class learning and regular home practice could potentially accelerate this timeframe to a condensed six-month period. The Novice level demands a dedicated investment of 6 to 12 months, a duration mirrored in the Advanced level. However, handlers who diligently engage in regular practice may successfully navigate both Novice and Advanced levels within the span of a single year. Upon completing approximately two years of uninterrupted instruction within the MDS training framework, a team might find themselves poised to begin attending competitive events while still enrolled at the Advanced level. Once a team has transitioned into active competition and have demonstrated mastery of basic handling skills, they become eligible to enroll in our Course Work class. Teams will remain at this class level for the remainder of their competitive career. Instructional focus then turns to skill refinement, rigorous obstacle proofing, and developing proficiency of international level handling techniques and challenges.
  • Where can I purchase equipment?
    Here are a list of our favourite agility equipment suppliers, and where we have purchased many pieces of equipment: All Equipment Agility World (Canadian) Run It! Agility Equipment (Canadian) Max200 Performance Dog Equipment (American) Tunnels and Tunnel Bags TNT Tunnels (Canadian)
  • How do I rent your facility?
    Our facility is available to rent to approved individuals. As safety in training is our number one priority we will need to determine your current level of skill and knowledge before granting rental privileges. We may also request a letter of endorsement from your dog sports trainer/instructor to attest to your skill level. Email us at: Once approved an individual may book their own rental time through our website. You can manage your own rental bookings quickly and easily without needing any assitance from us. Turf Building (40’x80’): Available October through April for rentals; the building is closed May to September. Walking Trails: Available all year long, but usually closed in April due to flooding from the snow melt. Outdoor Rings: Three fenced rings are available for rentals May through September. Ring 1 (95’x125’) and Ring 2 (120’x100’) have a full complement of agility equipment approved for competition use. Ring 3 (120’x100’) has rally and hoopers equipment, and can also be used for disc training. Dock and Pool (21’x45’): Available May through October.
  • What is your indoor training building like?
    Our indoor training space is 40' by 80', heated, and has competition quality turf footing. We provide a full compliment of training equipment that can be used by renters experienced using that equipment. Agility Equipment: dogwalk, aframe, seesaw, jumps - bar, wall, tire, broad, panel, double, triple, 6'/10'/15'/20' tunnels, weave poles. Agility Foundations/Training Equipment: wingless jumps for grids, soft jump bumps, soft wing bumps, 2x2's, channel weaves, contact trainers, target mats, fitness equipment, perches, CATO planks and boards. Hoopers Equipment: Baseless hoops, 1m/2m 32" tunnels, barrels, gates, and touch-n-go mat. Rally Equipment: CARO station signs, 25 sign holders, working boxes/lines/cones.
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