2020 AKC Agility Invitational

Sarah E. Price

Paige Johnson and Harbin were the only Beauceron team out of three invited to compete in the 2020 AKC Agility Invitational.

In Round 1 JWW they had a clean run with a score of 100 and time of 40.531. In Round 2 Standard, they had a cumulative score of 185. In Round 3 (Hybrid), Paige and Harbin cleared the course with a score of 100 in 46.551 seconds and left the agility ring in 37th place in the 24 in. jump division! The duo then filmed some agility shots for a commercial (to air on ABC on January 17th), then to the conformation ring, and a mad dash back to agility. Round 4, back to JWW, and Paige and Harbin scored a perfect 100 again with a clean run in 42.493 seconds. An eight year old veteran, Harbin was also Select Dog during Breed competition. Congratulations to GCHB CH Harbin L’Amour de ma Vie RN, MXP, MJP, CA, DS, CGC, TKP and Paige Johnson for clean runs and representing the breed in both the agility AND conformation rings!

Sports et Loisirs: Agilite


While we certainly recognize that there are many other venues for competitive agility (UKC, CKC, NADAC) creating a cheat sheet for all of them was too expansive of a project.

  FEO (For Exhibition Only) Can use toy in the ring and touch obstacles, including resetting jump bars Exhibitors can change a FAST or T2B to FEO entry
Test Levels ACT I (Agility Course Test), also virtual until 12/31/20 2 Qs: score 85 pts or more on 10 obstacles, no weave poles ACT 1 can be skipped
ACT II (Agility Course Test), also virtual until 12/31/20 2Qs: score 85 pts or more on 10 obstacles, 6 weave poles  
Trial Levels Novice (A/B) 14-16 obstacles 6 weave poles
Open 16-18 obstacles 9-12 weave poles
Excellent 18-20 obstacles 9-12 weave poles
Masters 18-20 obstacles  
Classes Standard
Contact obstacles (yellow sections), pause table
Jumpers with Weaves (JWW)
No contact obstacles or pause table
Reduced jump height (good for young dogs and seniors) and longer course time
Fifteen and Send Time (FAST)
15 pt valued obstacles/combos and a send bonus for a distance element
Time 2 Beat (T2B)
Not separated by levels but dogs of same height compete and course time is set by fastest dog
No dog walk, chute, pause table or broad jumps. Up to 2 tries to finish an obstacle
19-21 Obstacles generally same course as Master with emphasis on handling complicated sequences
No pause table
Obstacles A-Frame Contact on descent Required
Dog Walk Contact of descent Required
Seesaw or Teeter Contact on ascent and descent Required
Pause Table 5 second stop with all 4 paws on table Required
Open Tunnel   Required (Max 3)
Weave Poles 3 attempts allowed Required
Bar Jumps Jump over top bar without displacing or knocking it  
Panel Jump    
  Double Bar Jump    
  Triple Bar Jump    
  Broad Jump    
  Jump Wings    
  Ascending Double Bar Jump    
  Wall Jump    
  Tire Jump Cannot break tire segments apart or knock the frame over  
Qualifying 3 qualifying scores at each level under 2 judges    
Divisions All Beaucerons would be entered in the 24 in. division (22 in. or over at the withers)    
Faults Refusal/Run Out, Wrong Course, Pause Table Fault, Failure to Perform, Elimination, Excusal    
(Level) (Class) + Preferred if applicable
N (Novice) A (Agility) or J (Jumpers) and P (Preferred, if applicable). For example, NA = novice agility; NAJ novice jumpers with weaves; NAP = novice agility preferred
Notes A-Frame, Dog Walk, and Seesaw will never be set in sequence, or the first or last obstacles on a course    
  • Arc’s Bete Du Bayou NA OAJ OF RATN CGC (Denise DiLosa)
  • GCH CH Harbin L’Amour De Ma Vie AXP MJP CA DS CGC (Paige Johnson and Cindy Hartwell)
  • CH Image Du Murier De Sordeille NA NAJ OA OAJ NF (Elaine Giannelli)
  • Cupidon De Trappist VCD1 OA OAJ (Michele Godemann)
  • Disney Du Bois Du Nord MX MXB MXJ MJB XF T2B CA
  • Emperor Woodrow Mes Yeux Vigilants AX MXJ XF (Sharon Schultz)
  • Endless Waltz De Nanrox RN NAP NJP CGC TKI (Jill Ford)
  • Enori Du Chateau Rocher-Nori MX MXJ MJB (Daria Tsoupikova-Preuss)
  • Fabuleux Viper Du Chateau Rocher CD RE OA NAJ CGCA (Pamela Woodes)
  • GCH CH Fredericka Du Chateau Rocher CD BN RA OA NAJ OJP CGCA (Deborah Baker and Karla Davis)
  • GCH CH Isis Isis Baby Du Chateau Rocher CDX BN RAE MX MXB MXJ MJB XF CA CGCA (Janice Bourell-Casey)
  • GCH CH Loki Du Chateau Rocher BN HSAs NA CGCA CGCU (Cynthia Burgess and Amelia Foreman)
  • Hogan De La Noe D’Orient HSAs AX AXJ CGC (Christine Emery)
  • Isla Mystique Du Chateau Rocher BN RN FDC NAJ NJP CAA BCAT ACT1 CGCA TKN (Kathy Kimmeth)
  • MACH3 PACH2 Demi Du Bois Du Nord CD BN RE MXB2 MJS2 MXP5 MXPS MJP5 MJPS PAX2 MFB TQX T2B CA CGC (Maureen McClatchy)
  • PACH Maya Du Coeur De Soleil BN RN MXP3 MXPB MJP3 MJPB PAX MFP CAA BCAT DJ AJ TKI (Maureen McClatchy and Elaine Giannelli)
  • Rebelle Avec Une Cause Du Chateau Rocher RA AX MXJ CA CGC TKI (Cara Dixon)
  • Tequila De L’ Etoile Du Nord OA AXJ NJP (Marion Karhatsu)

Unsolicited Advice

Thank you to the ABC members for sharing sassy side eye (Clockwise from top left): Lily (Jasmine Sanders); Omen (Regina Erhart Fasold); Jackal and Uolie (Kara and Bubba Staroski); Selleck (Stephanie Smith); Moulin (Crystal Bomer); Atlas (Lauren Trathen); Mystic and Phawkes (Robin Gowen); Mesa (Syndi Keats).

Deva Wilson

Deva Wilson is an agility instructor that has been involved in dog sports her whole life, at the age of 12 she was competing at a national level. She is now 22 and successfully runs her own training business while training and competing with her own dogs. ABC Member Stacy Crivello sat down with her to procure this issue’s Unsolicited Advice.

Deva Wilson and Vader

What should someone who is just starting out in agility, or a first-time Beauceron owner wanting to do agility, look for in an instructor?

Look for an instructor that has experience with a wide variety of breeds. An instructor should be willing to adapt and modify their program to the needs of the individual dog that’s in front of them. Positive re-enforcement is used most of the time but with intelligent high intensity breeds like Beaucerons negative marker words can be very useful.

What is the most challenging aspect of the breed, relative to other breeds, that you have experienced during training agility?

A dog that doesn’t like repetition can be a challenge, as with most training, agility does involve a lot of repetition. So, you do have to be creative at times to keep some dogs engaged when learning certain skills. They are, of course, a herding breed which tend to be mouthy and can be triggered by motion. Agility is all about motion so it’s important to make sure that puppies and young dogs understand how to control themselves because a lot of motion is involved and you don’t want bad habits to develop in the ring.

They are a large quick breed which can also be a challenge as timing is very important in the sport of agility so sometimes as a handler you have to improvise during a run so always make sure you have plan A, B, and C.

What has surprised you about the breed, good and/or bad?

They are a lot like training my Border Collies, just bigger. They are high drive and very smart, therefore they pick up on things quickly so you want to make sure they are always rewarded for the correct things at the correct time as they can imprint a behavior, correct or incorrect, after only a session or two. Which is another reason why finding a good instructor is so important.

Any other thoughts or advice for doing agility with a Beauceron?

Make sure that you have clear consistent contact criteria from the beginning as it makes the job easier on the dog. A contact, for those that have never done agility, are the yellow areas at the bottom of the dog walk, A-frame, and teeter. Learning proper jump mechanics is very important along with making sure that if you start with a puppy that you remember their growth plates don’t close until usually around 12-18 months old so they should not be put on obstacles right away. There is a lot of flat work and foundational skills that are involved in agility and those can be started immediately with a puppy, but not the actual obstacles themselves.

AKC Horizontal 1884 blue

AKC News

Sarah E. Price

As shows tentatively begin to take place again, the AKC (and most other trialing organizations) have issued guidance for safe participation and attendance. The AKC has a dedicated page on their website that includes best practices by sport, up to date cancellations, and other pertinent information.

They are also offering free breed webinars, which are open to judges and the general public, every day from 1:00-2:30 pm EST. If you are curious about conformation, a Conformation for Beginners class is also being offered free of charge.

The AKC is holding a Virtual Top Dog Challenge. You have to enter and submit a brief video through the associated portal on AKC’s website. Entries are open June 5th through 12th and winners will be announced June 17th-19th and cost $25. Videos must include a stack from the front, rear, and side, oral exam, gaiting, and free stack. A portion of the entry fee goes to Take the Lead.

As many of you already know, AKC also moved to allow Trick Dog and Rally Novice titles to be completed online. Competitors will need to set up one of five courses, video their run, and submit the video through YouTube (along with entry form and fees). The AKC will assign a Rally judge to score and qualifying scores are added to your dog’s record. As of now, this pilot program will end on December 31, 2020.

Just this week the Agility Course Test (ACT) program is also a virtual competition. It operates similarly to the Rally program with predesigned courses that must be completed within a time limit. These courses do require access to agility equipment but with two qualifying runs you can earn the ACT title.