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What to bring to an Agility Trial

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OK, so I thought that this topic might be helpful for all first-time Agility competitors. Although I have not ever actually COMPETED in a trial - from the many I have been to I gathered info and made this basic list. For all you seasoned competitors (or newbies!), what else might you add?


Also, because Dazzle's first real trial is this next weekend - I don't want to forget anything. :rolleyes: So, here is our little list:


o Your dog (VERY important!)

o Dog crate

o Water and dish for the dog

o Dog food

o Dog treats

o Extra special dog treats

o Slip lead

o Regular lead

o Collar with tags (rabies, identification, etc)

o Dog?s favorite toys

o Trial conformation letter

o Trial record book of some kind to keep track of your runs/Qs/placements

o Dog?s NADAC and Jump height card (or whatever cards for the organization your competing in)

o Emergency vet?s (in the area) phone number

o Your regular vet?s phone number

o Video camera (if you have one ? for your runs)

o Doggie-poop bags


What else?


note: this is really just a list I made for the dog, so of course you would also need a ton of stuff for yourself that I didn't include here - but feel free to add that stuff!

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Your list looks great Kat but don't forget to take along a LAWN CHAIR!!You are going to want to sit at some point in time - altho if you are anything like me all that nervous energy keeps ya movin! In the summertime we always take a sunshade of some sort too - - but as you know that will NOT be a problem in our state this month!!!


I am heading to Argus this morning and I am running thru this same list myself and gathering items!! Just have treats left to do and we are off- - - Tess and I are enrolled in the seminar with Laura Derrett - - she and her husband Greg from the UK are there conducting agility seminars - - am really excited - - we are trialing tomorrow in the USDAA trial - -


good luck to you and Daz next week!!! :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Rainierlass:

Your list looks great Kat but don't forget to take along a LAWN CHAIR!!

Yes, yes, a chair is essential. And don't forget to bring stuff to drink and eat for yourself. I've learned it is a fine line on how much and when to eat at a trial. You want to avoid low blood sugar but at the same time if you eat too much or too close to your run, you may feel like hurling. :rolleyes: I tend to be very thirsty at trials, so I always bring a good amount to drink.


I take it this is an indoor trial? If not, you will also need to take into consideration every possible type of weather. I've gone to an outdoor show in the spring or fall with a heavy coat, windbreaker, sweatshirt, turtleneck, t-shirt, shorts, two pairs of sneakers, one pair of waterproof boots/shoes, a rain poncho, ear muffs, ball cap, sun glasses, bug spray, and sun screen. I swear there have been trials where I used all of the above. And I'm pretty confident that I take more stuff to a show than my grandpa brought when he emigrated to this country.


Indoor shows are easier, though if it is rainy, muddy, snowy outside you may want a change of shoes. And you may also want to bring a flat collar with no tags if you don't want to have your dog "run naked." It depends on the venue. CPE requires that the dog not have a collar. UKC demands that the dog does. AKC is either or. But I believe none of the venues will allow a collar with tags on. I've seen a number of people whistled off or NQ'ed because they forgot to remove their dog's regular collar before going into the ring.


And not that you asked, but I can't keep from telling you to just aim for as much fun as you can make it for your and your dog. First runs are often disasters, so don't expect too much (I include Q's in that statement). New handlers get really nervous. New dogs get over-stimulated or over-whelmed. Some people have wonderful first trials, but others don't (I'd be in the second camp). Goal One should be that your dog thinks shows are the absolute best, most enjoyable, coolest places to go.


Have fun!!!!!!

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Indoor at Argus Ranch (with rain outside :rolleyes: ) but now Argus has HEATERS!!!!! I am so excited about that - last year at this same trial it was about 0 degrees. :D NADAC says no collars, so I am just going to bring her collar with tags to this trial. A friend of mine had a clean run - but she left her dog's collar on and NQed, that was pretty sad so I will make SURE she doesn't have any kind of collar on when we run.


And I will make sure I bring some chairs.


Eating - I always forget to do that when I am at dog trials. :D So I will plan for that too.


Dazzle did one other thing (the Agilympics for people around here). She did pretty darn good (I was expecting crazy dog). So Argus/trial setting isn't to new (she has been going from when she was a pup). But what I am really worried about is that from all the rain, we have done less playing outside - ALL of that energy comes out at class and her first run on a course is awful. HOPEFULLY though, if I remember to warm her up good - it won't be toooo bad. :D Her first run of the day is going to be a jumpers course, we will just have to wait and see what the little weirdo does.....

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It can't be said enough: a sturdy FOLDING CHAIR! :rolleyes: [WITH CUPHOLDERS :D ] Someday I'll splurge on an E-Z Up for those sunny SoCal days...


Oh, and tons of water for yourself as well as for the pooch.


This fly spray is terrific. I buy the horse size.

Hand sanitizer/hand wipes.

Paper towels.

Tie-out cables. (Some of this stuff is always kept in the truck.)

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I'm sure you know, but you can keep her collar and tags on up until you enter the ring, and take it off just as you walk in. Run nekkid!


I couldn't think of anything that hadn't been covered.


Best of luck at your trial. I know you'll do great!

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I would suggest tarps, bungee cords and alligator clamps. Outdoors the tarps come in handy to be used as sides to provide additional shade from strong sun or rain. Rain gear for people ie -poncho or rain coat, water resistant/proof footwear, change of pants or water resistant pants, extra socks, sweatshirt or jacket. I have a large rubbermaid bin that travels in my car April - October that carries the majority of the items I listed above. Also for those with an EZ UP please if the weather is calling for rain over night at a trial remember to drop (lower) it as the weight of the accumulated rain and/or wind can destroy an EZ UP in nothing flat. We now use a 4 man tent vs an EZ UP as we have lost 2 to weather. I have UV shades that I put acoss the top of the tent on warm days and pull the Fly off for added ventilation. Tents are also great for storing your chairs tarps and such. They are also less likely to take damage in bad weather if properly staked down.

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so who trialled last weekend at argus, and whos' trialling this weekend? I'm doing both! did OK this weekend, got a DAM Q (5th) and won team snooker... that was fuuun! So much so, I think I'm going to join that club (RAT). I like the facility, but it's so dry and dirty, takes my lungs a day or so to recover!


-Laura & Wick (the loudmouth smoothcoat... you'll hear us warming up)

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RAT is a pretty cool club, and SAC too, then ZAP (my club)....


Congrats on winning Snooker! That is still just a strange thing to me - we would do really bad if we ever attempt a snooker course! :rolleyes:


I am doing this weekend.

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Originally posted by wicked:

so who trialled last weekend at argus, and whos' trialling this weekend?

We're trialing this weekend, but it's AAC. The following weekend, we're doing a NADAC trial on the Island to see if Miss Elite Everything Except Weavers can keep her head in the game long enough to finish her frickin' novice weavers title.


Congrats on the snooker. I hate to say it, but snooker has become my favourite game. It's a lot of fun to bet on it. :rolleyes:

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Originally posted by Kat's Dogs:

Kristi, that sounds like a friend of mine - all the NATCH points in everything but weavers, where the silly boy was still in Novice. :rolleyes: hehehe...

Yes, that would be Wick. We plan to reach our NADAC 1000 point award on Jumpers and Tunnelers alone. :D
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We trialled on Sunday too - fairly tight, tricky courses. First one we DQd when Kirra off-coursed to a jump that I hadn't even seen as a trap, when I was concentrating on trying to get her on a 180 round from the weavers to a tunnel which was on the far side of the A frame - otherwise good run. Then we had two totally hopeless runs where I completely lost the plot and caused her to lose it - so much so I walked off the course, since I couldn't figure out any way of recovering the runs and finishing well, which is what I'd usually do, and I didn't want to do any more damage to what was left of her confidence in my ability to guide her round a course.


So things weren't looking good for the tight and tricky Excellent Jumpers course. However, we both concentrated really hard, and although it didn't feel like a pretty run, we got through clean and almost 5 seconds under course time - to give us the 5th Q we needed for her JDX. Good little dog.


Now this senior handler is going to have to work very hard at trying to get her head around Masters Jumping courses. :eek: I'll really need my T shirt which says "Dog needs younger handler"!


And yes, I know it's the evil empire - or the Oz equivalent of it, but it is the only game on this island - and almost the only game in the southern part of Australia.


That's too bad about Wick and the weavers, Kristi - I have the opposite problem - probably the only dog going around who's likely to off-course to weavers - they such her in as badly as tunnels and contacts. :rolleyes:

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Had a great weekend at Argus - - the seminar with Laura was fantastic!!! She is fun to be around and offered a lot of good info - - am happy to say her style of training very closely resembles my trainer's so no surprises just some added good ideas....


On Sunday Tess and I entered our very first USDAA trial and we came away with a 3rd place in Performance 1 Standard and a 2nd place and a "Q" in Performance 1 Jumpers - we are well pleased - if I would have wrapped her the other way after a jump we would have gotten farther in Snooker!! MY BAD!!! LOL! All in all we had a great weekend!!


On another note - the ceiling heaters at Argus are the BEST!!! Nice and warm!


Maggie, Tess and Roz

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I can't wait to see the heaters - we were REALLY craving them last November... Everyone that has been there after they were put up says they are GREAT! Goody!


I wish I had known about the seminar with Laura, that would have been cool to go to. It sounds like it was really great!

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Getting back to the original topic, if Bear is competing, I remember to pack:

  • tuggy leash
  • floppy disc
  • sheepy fleecy toy that sometimes is interesting to him
  • tennis ball on a tug
  • kong on a rope
  • treat tote
  • liver brownies
  • weiners
  • string cheese
  • dried liver
  • bananas
  • K9 Go powder
  • cooling jacket
  • spray bandage (he has a way of burning pads)
  • slicker brush to remove the flora and fauna that he accumulates in the off-leash area

If it's Wick, our list is a little shorter:

  • ball


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Hmm, I was at the RAT trial this weekend, but was learning to scorekeep USDAA, since I don't compete in that venue those accumulator sheets were like Greek to me! Plus I can't believe that all the scoring is still handwritten intead of using a computer program. So I spent my weekend there not watching any runs and in a daze most of the time :rolleyes: But the food was wonderful, and I agree that RAT's a great club!


I'll be at ZAP on Saturday trying for those last Regular points so Daphne will be all Elite and we can start working on her NATCH.


As far as adding to the very complete list of what to bring to a trial...depending on which club is sponsoring......HUMAN FOOD!! Some clubs are great with Hospitality and provide breakfast items through wonderful hot lunches by either donation or volunteering, but some......well let's just say, better bring your own......



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Something else I don't see on anyone's list--a book. I find this essential, especially if you are running novice or other big classes. Sometimes there is so much down time between runs a book or crossword puzzle, sudoku, etc is invaluable. And I definitely second the food suggestion. I've been to trials where the food vendor doesn't show, or the food is just plain yucky. Oh yeh--don't forget aspirin!

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THAT was worth a good laugh - a book! Imagine! Some trials, I take a chair and rarely get to sit in it. Between running one dog, walking the others (our cheering section), working (yes, ALL trials require volunteers...), and watching the really really good handlers - who has time to read?! Most of the time, I'm so tired at the end of the day I don't get my usual reading in before falling asleep!

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