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Which agility course do you like better?

akc course design dog agility course map open intermediate advanced

"Stuck in the middle again..."

That's what a handler once told me while describing their experience in the Open/Advanced/Intermediate "middle" competition level agility classes.

And if you ask most agility judges, it's not unusual to see a lower qualifying rate for these classes as well.

So when this week the AKC announced a reduction in course design elements for the Open level, I thought more handlers would be thrilled with the change.

I was wrong!

I've learned that people generally fall into one of two camps:

  • The be-better-mentality where teams should train to the current number of challenges presented; or
  • The it's-too-tough group who feel the number of challenges presented is not level appropriate.

So, I dug up a REAL course from 2012 and did a little course designed magic...

Ignore that obsolete chuteπŸ˜‰ (or better yet, replace it with a tunnel and start training) because this is the perfect course to decide if that extra side-switch (which is currently required) at #11-13, makes or breaks what some have called the purgatory "middle" level.

You decide. Which course is more appropriate for the "middle" level?

  • 1st up, the original Open course which has 3 side switches; or
  • The 2nd revised course with the soon-to-be 2 side switches (1 less side switch).

The original or revised?


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