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Hoopers Agility, what is this dog sport?

Derived from agility, Hoopers agility is a canine activity that is practiced in clubs. Softer and less impactful for the body than its cousin, it has the advantage of being accessible to all dogs, young and old, large and small. In its practice, Hoopers agility reinforces the bond between the animal and its master, the latter being a passive actor, who remains motionless and who must guide his little companion only by voice and/or gestures. Let’s find out more in this file.

What is Hoopers agility?

Born in the United States from the desire of the North American dog agility council to offer an alternative to agility for young doggies and older dogs or dogs with joint problems, Hoopers agility very quickly became popular. Appreciated in Norway and Switzerland, it began to conquer France and the United Kingdom. Hoopers agility is different from classic agility. Indeed, it differs from it in particular by the fact that it does not provide for jumps. The animal must pass through arches, tunnels and obstacles smoothly, with less risk of impact on its body, which reduces the likelihood of injury. The dog’s joints are thus less stressed.

Hoopers agility is thus a slightly softer practice, which opens up to many more profiles of doggies. It aims above all to work and develop the dog’s ability to respect the advice of his master, because the latter guides him from a distance throughout the course.

Hoopers agility: what are the rules of this canine sport?

Hoopers agility is a canine sport that can be practiced in the context of competitions. it is therefore subject to strict rules. Here are the main ones.

  • The course of the Hoopers agility course must meet regulatory standards.
  • Dogs are classified into two categories. The first category includes dogs measuring less than 40 cm at the withers. The second category includes doggies over 40 cm at the withers.
  • It must be a circular and regular course, with obstacles installed in such a way as not to impose too abrupt a change of direction.
  • The dog must be directed from a distance by his master, by voice and/or gestures, and work with concentration and calm.
  • The animal must follow the order of the course and complete it in a previously fixed time. This is the maximum travel time, or TPM. If exceeded, the animal is eliminated.
  • The doggie is not equipped with any equipment (neither collar, nor leash, nor harness) in order to avoid the risk of endangerment.

What are the different types of Hoopers agility races?

Hoopers agility is a canine sport that comes in many kinds of races to satisfy all desires and vary the pleasures of doggies and their master.

  • The Hooper Race : the dog follows a numbered course composed only of hoopers, which are obstacles in the shape of half-hoops under which the animal must pass. It is these hoops that gave this activity its name (hoop called hoop in English).
  • The barrel race : for this other numbered course, the doggie must follow a series of obstacles which are composed of hoopers at the start and finish then of barrels on the rest of the route.
  • The tunnel race : again, for this numbered course, hoopers constitute the obstacles of departure and arrival. For the rest of the course, it is essentially tunnels, but it is quite possible to also place barrels to vary the approaches.

What are the possible obstacles in Hoopers agility?

Courses set up as part of Hoopers agility can include five types of obstacles. They should only be soft and secure obstacles so as not to risk injuring the animal during its run.

Here are the five possible obstacles:

  1. the hoopersthese half-circles under which the dog must pass are at least mandatory to mark the start and finish of a course;
  2. the tunnelsof variable length and diameter, inside which the hammer must pass;
  3. the barrelsobstacles that the dog must circumvent;
  4. the coneswhich the pooch must also circumvent;
  5. trelliswhich serve to guide the dog and to delimit the space of the course.

Depending on the levels, a course can include between 15 and 25 obstacles spread over a playing surface of around 20 meters by 30 meters.

Hoopers agility: for which dog? For which master?

Hoopers agility is an interesting activity for all dogs, big and small, young and old. Stimulating both physically and intellectually, Hoopers agility is a very good sport for dogs, especially weakened ones, because of its gentleness.

Moreover, the teacher is an essential actor, but immobile. As a result, owners of doggies with mobility issues can actively participate. Children can also be actors in this practice if they have a good bond with their animal.

Hoopers agility: what are the advantages of this canine activity?

Hoopers agility is a canine activity that has many advantages.

  • It reinforces the dog’s obedience: to practice this activity, the dog must listen to his master. This work reinforces the basic education and helps the animal to concentrate.
  • It contributes to developing complicity: the fact of practicing an activity in pairs helps to strengthen and develop relationships, trust and complicity between the animal and its master.
  • It stimulates the physical: this activity is physical and allows the animal to exert itself with its master.
  • It is gentle: the animal is gently stimulated. Without jumps or abrupt gestures, it is accessible to all dogs. It can be practiced by puppies and older dogs, sick and weakened dogs. The risk of injury is absent if the activity is well carried out.
  • It stimulates the intellect: the practice of this activity mentally stimulates the dog.
  • It encourages the puppy: the little puppy can practice Hoopers agility in order to prepare to practice agility.

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