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To make things fair for beginner and not so fast dogs, Agility is divided into 3 grades, Dog Jumping into 2. (Well, 4, but more on that later)

Agility Grades

Grade 1

All dogs start in Agility Grade 1. There is also a Grade 1 Mini for the Mini dogs. In Agility 1 the courses are easy and flowing, and seldom have the "traps" you might find in the higher grades. Agility 1 has the slowest speeds and lowest jumps.(Usually about 550 mm for standard dogs)

Grade 2

After you have qualified out of 1(more on that later), you may move up into Grade 2. Here the courses are slightly more difficult, the speed faster, and the jumps a bit higher. (About 600 mm) Of course, the Mini's have their Grade 2 as well.

Grade 3

This is the highest and final grade. Courses here are fast and tough. Often you will find a "trap", such as the tunnel being under the A-frame, or two jumps very close together. This is not to trick the dog, but instead to insure that the handler has control of his or her dog. Heights here are about 650. Although I don't think we have any Mini 3's in Natal, other provinces do.

Qualifying

The rules for moving up through the grades are simple, although they change a little from grade to grade.

Grade 1

Since these are only beginners, the rules go easy on them. In order to qualify, you must have a clear round, ,  place in the top three, and there must be three or more handlers(not just three dogs) .After you have after three qualifications, you  move up into grade 2. Every dog gets a record card which is signed by the judge when you qualify so you can keep count.

Click here to see an official Agility card

Grade 2

Things are stricter here. In order to qualify, you must get a clear round (no course or time faults) and place in the top three. Again, there must be three or more handlers. After three qualifications you move up into grade 3, the big league.

Grade 3

This is a little different. You cannot earn qualifications since there is nowhere to go up to. Instead, you collect CC's, which can only be earned at Championship shows, unlike qualifications which can we earned at open or champ shows. To earn a CC, you must A) Have a clear round B)Come first C) There must be at least three handlers. Each CC must be earned under a different judge, if you come fisrt under a judge who has already given you a CC, none will be awarded.  Once your dog has earned three CC's, it is considered a CHAMPION.

Dog Jumping Grades

Grade 2

This is the beginner grade for Dog Jumping. Speed is slower, and the jumps are lower. All jumps over 700 mm are required to have a second crossbar lower on the jump. Note that although the speed is lower than Grade 1 Dog Jumping, is would still be faster than Grade 1 and maybe even Grade 2 Agility.

Grade 1

This is a highest grade for Dog Jumping. Speeds here can be up to 4.5 meters per second, and the jumps can be something like 900 mm. Dog Jumping also has "spreads", i.e.: one bar at 600 mm, another at 650 mm, and a third at 700 mm.

Grade 4

This is the same as Grade 2, except for the Mini dogs.

Grade 3

This is the Mini equivalent of Grade 1.

Qualifying

Grades 2 and 4

To qualify here, A) there must be at least three handlers B) You may have no faults C) You must place in the top three.
Similar to Agility, you MAY move up after two qualifications, you MUST at three.

Click here  to see an official Dog Jumping card

Grades 3 and 1

This is where you go for your CC's. To earn a CC, you must A) Have a clear round B)Come first C) There must be at least three handlers. Once your dog has earned three CC's, it is considered a CHAMPION.