Agility All-Stars: Dog Breeds that Excel at Agility

While any dog can be great at agility, some breeds seem to be born for it.

By | Posted: November 2, 2014, 8 a.m. PST

Almost any breed and any-sized dog can enjoy agility; dogs compete in various height divisions. Small dogs are also allowed more time to finish the course. And when big dogs like a Great Danes takes center stage, they’re crowd pleasers for sure.


But while all sorts of dogs can excel in agility, a few breeds dominate the podium. Let’s leave statistics aside and give five qualified breeds a chance to campaign for the title of Agility Superstar. Leave it to me to translate Woof to Word.

Border Collie 


Border Collie
You must be referring to me, Mr. Parson. Well, hands down, paws up, I deserve the Agility Superstar title. I’m first and foremost a herding dog par excellence. I was developed in the British Isles for high intelligence and herding, and I’m renowned for controlling sheep with my intense stare (look into my eyes…). I’m just about indefatigable, and I respond to human commands with extraordinary accuracy. Not only can I run flat out quickly, I can turn on a dime and stop in an instant. No one doubts my work ethic; if you want to practice all day, I’m up for it. Racing for time and accuracy sounds perfect for showcasing my abilities. Well, actually I take that back. We need some sheep on the course, and then I could really show you what perfection looks like.


Shetland Sheepdog
I was developed in the Shetland Islands to herd livestock and work with man, so agility courses are a piece of cake for me (do you have any idea how rugged the Shetland Island terrain is?). Plus, I adore my family and thrive on the interaction of agility. And lastly, keep in mind that I don’t work only a 9 to 5 job; I’ve got the energy for overtime. All combined, my natural athleticism and willingness to please lead me straight to top medals. Oh, and did I mention I have a beautiful double coat that blows in the breeze as I run? After all, aesthetics matter, you know.


Golden Retriever
My sprightliness and biddability are going to be hard to beat. I was developed in Scotland as a gundog to retrieve fowl, which requires far more coordination than you might imagine. I had to cover rough terrain over long distances, so I’m a natural for just about any dog sport. Everyone knows me as a social butterfly, but I’m a jock too. Give me some purposeful work such as a course to run, and I’ll bring home the Gold. {Get it? Golden gets the Gold? Yep, I’m amusing too!}


So let me start by explaining that my name translates to Butterfly (in French), so no one should be surprised at my liveliness as well as good looks. And yes, I’m in the Toy Group, but I’m a power house of energy on the agility course. I may have been developed as a companion dog and sat on many a lap of European noblewomen, but I’m light, lithe, and swift. I’m also a happy breed that has fun on the agility course and keeps the audience smiling. 


Parson Russell Terrier
With my boundless energy, I can easily claim any title with the word Super in it. I was developed as a hunting dog to flush fox for hunters, but those skills carry right over to agility work. And since I don’t find many foxes these days, it’s a good thing I channeled my tenacity into performance sports. Give me any challenge on the course, and I’ll rise to the occasion. Besides my athleticism, I’m intelligent, feisty, and yes, sometimes a rascal. I learn tricks quickly, so teach me a few and I’ll keep the crowd happy with an agility halftime show. I bet those serious herding breeds that think they’re hot stuff on the agility course won’t bother doing that!


Okay I know I’m a long shot, but give me a chance to explain. I admit the tunnel is a tight squeeze, but for someone my size, I’m rather nimble. And I’m far speedier than my body type suggests, and I’m also tougher than most of my rivals. Besides, the other contestants for Superstar won’t protect you in that sketchy motel we’re staying at for the competition weekend, now will they? 
Many other breeds make the canine celebrity list, including (but certainly not limited to) Labrador Retrievers, Australian Shepherds, Poodles, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and Mixed Breeds of all sorts.


Bred for a Reason 


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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

11/4/2014 3:56:38 AM

Interesting article!

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