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Obstacle Requirements

Dog agility courses utilizes obstacles that have prescribed standards in order to assure safety and basic uniformity in the nature of challenges within the sport. These obstacles are presented below, along with the minimum requirements for course design in USDAA's standard agility classes. Other classes offer the same obstacles, but may vary slightly in the number or manner in which the obstacles are presented on course. Please note that this information is presented on page for convenience only. Please refer to the Chapter 3 and Appendix A of USDAA Rules & Regulations for more complete information and amendments, if any.

Click on obstacle for key obstacle specifications

  • Three contact obstacles, including the A-frame, see-saw, and dog walk.
  • Set of ten to twelve weave poles.
  • Two tunnels, one collapsible tunnel and one pipe tunnel.
  • One Table.
  • One Tire Jump.
  • Three winged hurdles, one of which must be a spread hurdle.
Other additional hurdles (primarily of a winged-type) may be added to meet minimum obstacle standards for each class level as listed below:

Starters, Novice & Veterans Classes Advanced & Masters Classes
14 to 16 obstacles 17 - 20 obstacles

 

 

Key Obstacle Specifications

Contact Obstacles Return to Obstacle List

Contact Obstacles
Ramp Length
Ramp Width
Height/
Ascent Angle***
Contact Zone Length
See-saw*
12' 
11"- 12" 
24" - 27" 
36" 
Dog walk**
12' 
11" - 12" 
48" - 54" 
36" 
A-frame**
  9' 
Min 36" 
98° / 104°
42"
      *See-saw base must be visible on approach.
      **Slats required on dog walk & crossover ramps with spacing 12" to 15", and on A-frame with 12" spacing; slats must be a minimum 4" (but no more than 6") above and below contact point edge. Slats shall measure between 3/8" and 1/2" in thickness and between 3/4" and 1-1/2" in width and span the full width of the plank or sidewall (on the A-frame).
      ***The angle of the ramps beneath the apex determines the power of ascent and skill required to scale the ramp, as well as the impact on the ramp as the dog engages it. The angle for large dogs is 98° and the angle for small dogs is 104°. All dogs in the "Performance Program" use 104° angle of ascent and descent.

Table Return to Obstacle List

  • Table surface dimension:  36" x 36"
  • Table top edge (side view): 3" minimum
  • " Adjustable in height to 12", 16" & 24" in the Championship Program and 12" and 16" in the Performance Program

Weave Poles  Return to Obstacle List

  • Number:  minimum 5; maximum 12, with poles minimum 3' height and diameter of approximately 1"; minimum of 10 required in standard agility and performance titling classes.
  • Spacing:  24" (center of pole to center of pole)(22" - 24" range permitted, with base not to exceed 3.5" in width and 1" in height

Tire Jump  Return to Obstacle List

  • Aperture: 20"
  • Sidewall Width:  min. 4"

NOTE: Frame must have 8" minimum clearance between tire & frame and not extend more than 9" beyond tire plane in either direction; the top of any cross support beneath the tire shall not be more than 4" above ground level.

Tunnels Return to Obstacle List

Diameter
Diameter or Circumference
Min. Length
Max. Length
Pipe tunnel* (maximum 4" pitch)
24" Diameter
12' 
20' 
Collapsed tunnel: 
     Opening 
20" - 24"
18" 
30" 
     Chute 
(Chute fabric weight not to exceed 6.00 oz./sq. yard or 420 denier)
65" min. circumference where attached to entrance 96" circumference on exit end
10' 
12' 

*SPECIAL NOTE: Pipe tunnels must have no more than 4" spacing between wires on the pipe tunnel to provide sufficient cylindrical support. This spacing is called "pitch", so when ordering from a manufacturer, request a 4" (or 3") pitch.

Hurdles, Jumps and Spreads Return to Obstacle List

Note: Two poles are required on each jump in all class levels except Masters; wings must be minimum 36" and no more than 48" high, and a minimum width of 16".

A majority of the hurdles utilized must be "winged" hurdles.

Minimum Jump Heights
CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM
Dog Height Jump Height Long Jump Span
12" or less 12"  24"
14" or less  14" 36"
16" or less  16" 36"
17.5" or less  18" 48"
21" or less 22" 48"
Over 21" 26" 60"
PERFORMANCE PROGRAM
Dog Height Jump Height Long Jump Span
12" or less   8" 12"
16" or less  12" 24"
21" or less 16" 36"
Over 21" 20" 48"
Spread Hurdles Span
CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM ONLY
Dogs Jumping 22" & 26" Span
Regular Spread
     Parallel* 
12" to 15" (inclusive)
     Ascending**
15" to 20"
Extended spread (ascending only)
20" to 24" (inclusive)
Dogs Jumping 16" & 18" (All Ascending**)
Spread
12" to 15":
Extended spread
15"
Dogs Jumping 12" & 14" (All Ascending**)
Spread
10" - 12"
Extended spread
12"
      *Should have a slanted ground line pole at back, or back and front
    **Front hurdle must be at least 4" lower than jump height
Poles and Pole Supports
  • For round poles, cups must have 1/8" maximum depth not to exceed pole width
  • For flat rails, flat holder not to exceed 1-3/4" width
  • Pole or rail supports shall not protrude more than 1-1/2" into the jumping area of the jump
  • PVC poles must be Schedule 40, 1" or 1-1/4" i.d. only
  • Rails must be approximately 1-1/4" to 1-3/4" square
  • Poles, planks and rails between 4'6" and 5' in length


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