The Types of People that Do Agility.

1 Jun

Agility is a dog sport which attracts all kinds, and we mean *all* kinds.   In this entry, we will do our best to categorize a few of the most common types of people you will encounter when involved in agility and the dogs who are stuck with them.


Ex-Conformation Types

If you see someone running a Chow or a Shih-Tzu or any other completely unbiddable breed, it’s a good guess that they are one of these people. They aren’t there because they love agility, and they aren’t there because they love training. They are there because someone told them a balanced dog has titles at both ends and the dog refused to chase a lure.

Not the kind of balance we're talking about

Not the kind of balance we’re talking about

Seriously Serious Types

These are people that have Border Collies or Shelties or Aussies ( and maybe a Papillon). They don’t have time for your questions and actually having questions means you will never be friends. Noticeably, all of their wardrobe comes from Clean Run or at least has ‘tech’ in the name of the fabric somewhere. Much to Fang’s chagrin, these are also people who wear Vibram Toe-Shoes, which are Crocs for people with money.

But Uglier.

Casual Competitor

The casual competitor has a good perspective on it all, mostly. Barring some unforeseen instances where the competition monster erupts, these are good people. Unfortunately, it’s a very small step from CC to our previous category. An early warning sign is going from a breed they actually enjoy to a Border Collie. (We refuse to believe anyone actually enjoys Border Collies.)

“I’m ready. Are you ready? I’m ready. Ready for anything. Ready. Ready. Ready. You’re ready! Get ready now. I’m ready. Ready.”

“I’m ready. Are you ready? I’m ready. Ready for anything. Ready. Ready. Ready. You’re ready! Get ready now. I’m ready. Ready.”

The Best Q is a Res-Q  People

They are more than happy to tell you how abused their snappy Border Collie was before they got involved in agility and would love to tell you the story of how their heart dog was rescued and got them involved in agility. They are often identifiable by the T-shirt sporting their favorite phrase “The Best Q is a Res-Q”. If you mention looking for a dog to these people, they automatically know one that would be “just perfect!”… some actually do, and some just want to pawn off a dog from their backyard rescue.

Your thoughtfully bred dog is satan. Get used to it.

The “I have this breed because I wanted to go to nationals and there are only two in the US doing agility” type

It’s considerably easier to get to AKC invitationals with a Shar-Pei than it is with a Border Collie. There’s a reason for that. So, how does one circumnavigate the system? Get a Border Collie in a weird little hungarian terrier suit. That’s right, a Pumi. If you have  the money to import a dog from the wilds of eastern Europe, you can make it to nationals. You’ll just have to switch breeds again when people start breeding them in the US. *cough* pyr shep*cough*

Fang loves these and doesn’t do agility (yet) so Potnoodle can shut her whore mouth.

Recreational Agiliphile

These individuals routinely take classes and engage in various agility-related activities, but don’t actually have plans to compete for a variety of reasons.  Although the RA is generally more closely aligned with the CC,  they can also come in an annoying subvariety.  These sub-RAs are those people that take up most of the instructor’s time and don’t really care to do things properly.  It is not uncommon to see sub-RAs admiring their dog on top the A-Frame and expecting everyone else to stop and coo in admiration.  This sub-RA is often the bane of existence for the Seriously Serious types who treat every second in class as integral to achieving  agility supremacy. They’re even annoying to the CC or the other RAs

Did we miss any agility types?  Do you recognize yourself in one of the descriptions?  Share below!

139 Responses to “The Types of People that Do Agility.”

  1. MA June 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I am sorry I missed this article when it was first posted since I was at an agility trial with my rescue border collie mix (who I really enjoy), bugging the crap out of my teacher while I kept going between happy my dog was doing better to irritated that she still hates the teeter totter, LOL. I dress cheap though.

    • yote54 July 17, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      HaHa but your rescue border collie mix is the fastest one of all, she doesn’t care what you wear. And, now she hates the teeter totter less 🙂

  2. Nelg June 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Stereotypes are always funny!!

  3. Michael June 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    You left out the “agility spouse”!

    • Michael Q. February 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

      Yeah, us poor bastards.

  4. Vanessa June 6, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Pretty decent article with the exception about people wanting border collies. I have had four and they are wonderful pets. I compete because I enjoy the sport and so do my dogs. Yes the Q is wonderful and the icing on the cake but my dogs enjoy it as do i. I also compete in obedience with them which I’m sure you will have an article on “those types” sometime. Not all agility people fall into those categories that you made up.

  5. Karen June 7, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    Never Satisfied Type
    This type tends to have a lot of dogs because they are generally not satisfied with the dogs they have and always looking for that next dog which will achieve all their ambitions. They often complain about their dogs, that the dog won’t keep bars up, hit contacts, go fast enough, pay attention, do the weaves. A subset complain a lot and tend to be the ones that train little and trial often, which explains why the dog makes little progress. They are happiest when they have a new dog, with all its great possibilities, before the fatal flaws have become apparent.

  6. Pamela Padgett June 14, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    It’s a joke, Vanessa

  7. horsesathome June 14, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    Love to tell all about our super agility weekend, oh, the weaves! but it’s time for my rescue dog’s therapist appointment. He’s doing a great job at getting my Cairn over his abandonment issues. Agility has led us to a deeper and more meaningful relationship. (snort, almost couldn’t finish this as it was making me gag!)

    ps. I really do agility and have three rescues.
    pss: Jack, CGC, UAG1, NA, NAJ, OAJ, RATI, RATN

  8. Ruth & Merry from Australia June 17, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    Too funny! I have a 5 yr old border collie – fell in love with her at a week old from a photo and went looking for something to use her brain for good rather than evil. We’ve got a few titles between us, but we’re not exactly seriously serious, just love to play and play well. Still wear jeans & a t shirt, but have succumbed to the convenience of lock laces on my cheap child sized cross trainers. We keep turning up expecting to be turfed out as imposters, but winning a fair few when we don’t crash and burn, ‘cos we’re having too much fun. I think maybe I might have a BC personality, but slightly less body hair. READY for anything. Wanna play? SNORT.
    Merry CDX, AD, JD, GDX, SPD, ET. (FDX)

    • Ruth June 27, 2013 at 9:58 am #

      I, too have a Border mix (crossed with a Kelpie) who is my first dog I have owned. I took up agility in order to provide her with the work and exercise she needed. I am definitely a CC, and we do it for the fun!!. I also train & teach other to have as much fun we we do. We have a few titles; CD, ADX, SDX SPDX, GD, JD, ET, DWDF.S, but it’s taken us 6 yrs of competing to get there.

  9. tajmutthall (Ellen) June 17, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I know people in all of those categories. I, of course, do not fall into any of the groups.

  10. Jack of All Trades June 18, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    I guess you could call me a reverse ex-conformation type. I like training and I do conformation because someone told me a balanced dog has titles at both ends. My split personality is evidenced by my moderately biddable breed – Airedale Terriers – which means we do everything and don’t excel at any of them. But we laugh a lot.

    • Lynnette with Laekenois July 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      Good for you!

  11. Ted Wright June 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    A funny one heard a ringside. At 9am a dog struggled with the ‘A’ frame and spectators though it was down to the sun being in a low orbit. Chap beside me asked if I thought that the sun would be in the same place when he ran his dog at 2pm……… The man’s job turned out to be a navigation officer in the merchant navy!

  12. robann June 20, 2013 at 2:59 am #

    Reblogged this on allmycollies.

  13. Natalie June 25, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    You guys are fantastic. This is my new favorite blog. Keep up the good work, ladies.

    P.S. Hello from SmartPoodle on Flickr, Potnoodle. I guess I won’t use your real name ; )

  14. Pam June 26, 2013 at 7:55 pm #

    Hah! I’m probably one of those annoying RA types, but I tried not to hog the instructor’s attention in class. My Basenji & Basenji-mix both loved running agility courses (on their own terms, of course, not in the order I wanted them to). However, I was the one too out of shape to keep up with them, so I stopped taking classes.

  15. LeeAnn McNeil July 10, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I am the agility type who just enjoys showing and getting Q’s but have never been to a national. Just going to trials and meeting other people who enjoy showing there dogs. I am 63 years old and have been showing for about the last 20 years with shelties.

    • Sandy April 1, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

      I also enjoy trials and will probably never go to a national, I was at the national this past week-end as a spectator…lol .We have only been competing for 2 years, I had always done obedience but my sheltie girlie was bored to death, so we started a foundation class never intending to compete, and got hooked. We still do obedience, but I love agility. We have made it to Masters Agility Preferred and Excellent Jumpers Preferred. I admit, I am still green but I learn from my mistakes. I also have a male that is in Novice. Love this post. I guess I am the CC.

  16. donna yielding July 10, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    You haven’t seen Wendy Donnelly’s little Black & Tan Micro Pomeranian Dottie do agility yet. Now, that little baby will give them something to talk about!

  17. Mary July 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    Okay, I’ll admit it I am a weird breed person who loves agility. But honestly it’s not so my Pyr Shep, Tibetan Terrier or Schapendoes can go to the Invitational (doesn’t really matter for nationals). It’s just that I love hair. Long beautiful hair, grow it show it. HAIR!!

  18. susan July 21, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    article is cute! i tried agility with my adolescent male herding breed dog. he didnt love it. he would do the dog walk and a frame and tunnel pretty well. his fave was the table. the bars and weaves–EH….we didnt get to the teeter exactly yet….my instructor said that because we hike off leash all the time that my dogs are used to RUNNING AMOK. i think this should be an additional agility category. we hike all the time and my dogs jump over logs and now in summer we all dive into lakes. his favorite trick is to try to dive on top of me and then swim on top of me. my job is to teach him boundaries in the water. we are hours from the closest dock diving facility so we havent tried him out there but think he has potential. now though, every day he will chase tennis balls or lunkers into the water non stop. maybe a bit like a border collie???

  19. Lisa August 14, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    I LOVE the text under the pic of the Border Collie – that’s my Lukie ( aka “Cool Hand Luke” ) I absolutely ADORE him and can’t wait to get another Border. There’s no doubt they’re “special” LOL

  20. tazlina January 9, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    LOL. I run a Lhasa Apso. She’s a rescue. I’ve never even seen a conformation ring. But because I was having so much fun training, during the 3 years it took to prepare her for trial, I got a Pembroke. He’s amazing and going to be really fun to compete with when the time comes. My next dog will be an Aussie. I honestly can’t tell which type people think I am. 🙂

  21. Teresa January 28, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    This was one funny article and oh yes, recognizable categories. Ya gotta laugh and enjoy the comments. My heart goes out to those folks explain that you missed their category or that you generalised and they or their dog are an example of being outside of one of your generalisations. ;-)))))

  22. Beth V. February 1, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    Conformation person, “Best in Show” fan, devotee of good satire. Does anyone remember the site “Agility Barbie” from several years ago? Barbie, Ken, and friends photographed with their little plastic dogs on all kinds of agility adventures! (Barbie had a substance abuse problem with chocolate!) Wicked funny!

  23. Stephanie February 1, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    Did I mention I got to the AKC Invitational 3 years in a row running a Bull Terrier?

  24. Crystal Bauer February 2, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    id say im either the Seriously Serious Type or the Casual Competitor type or somewhere in between 🙂

  25. no.spam March 28, 2015 at 6:00 am #

    This article needs to be formatted into a scorecard… for my friends & I to use for our agility trial spectator’s drinking game.

  26. Laura July 31, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

    Love the subject and the comments 🙂 I think I’m more between the Seriously serious type and the casual competitor and to be different, we run mixed breed rescues. Our two best ones are a mixed border collie/retriever with social skills of Julie from the Love Boat, who competes at advanced/excellent level and our pitbull mix with the head the size of an anvil and the heart of a lion. He’s got serious love for the sport and enough drive for two border collies when I place him on a start line ( do they make people shoes with jet propulsion yet?, cause I could use some.)

    My husband is the agility spouse, who likes to compete some (he also totes and carries, drives, cheer us on when I get excused by the third jump in snooker, videotape, finds people food at obscure trial sites and people watches).

    We’ll never make it to nationals, but we love it. Our teamwork,happy dogs and partnership makes all the blood, sweat, tears, wipeouts, getting lost on course, exhaustion and expense worth it.


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