Northfield Dog Training • 3676 W. Ellsworth Rd. • Ann Arbor, MI 48103 • 734-995-7200 • Email us only search NDT site

Agility Course Descriptions

To download a PDF with a flowchart of recommended obedience and agility training classes, see Class Flowchart.

Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Intro to Agility 6 55 mins Puppy Kindergarten or Jumpstart Obedience at Northfield, or equivalent class. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We work on basic obedience control needed for agility (attention, hand touch, come, stay, spins both directions, target work) and introduce the dogs to all of the different obstacles seen on an agility course, at safely lowered heights. Your dog needs to be comfortable being held by the instructor or assistant, and to have enough self-control to work around other dogs without being disruptive.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Intro to Agility - 5 week 5 45 mins Puppy Kindergarten or Jumpstart Obedience at Northfield, or equivalent class. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We work on basic obedience control needed for agility (attention, hand touch, come, stay, spins both directions, target work) and introduce the dogs to all of the different obstacles seen on an agility course, at safely lowered heights. Your dog needs to be comfortable being held by the instructor or assistant, and to have enough self-control to work around other dogs without being disruptive.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Intro to Agility - 4 weeks 4 55 mins Puppy Kindergarten or Jumpstart Obedience at Northfield, or equivalent class. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We work on basic obedience control needed for agility (attention, hand touch, come, stay, spins both directions, target work) and introduce the dogs to all of the different obstacles seen on an agility course, at safely lowered heights. Your dog needs to be comfortable being held by the instructor or assistant, and to have enough self-control to work around other dogs without being disruptive.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility 2 -4 weeks 6 55 mins Intro to Agility or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We continue to work on the obedience control needed for agility and build on the foundation work started in Intro to Agility. We will introduce the various ways to change sides (including front and rear crosses), start to build the number of obstacles in a sequence, introduce different jump sequences, build on contact obstacle performance, still at lowered heights, and build on weave pole performance, with gradually narrowing channel weaves and 2x2s for reliable entrances. Students are expected to have weave poles at home with which to practice.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility 2 - 5 week 5 55 mins Intro to Agility or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We continue to work on the obedience control needed for agility and build on the foundation work started in Intro to Agility. We will introduce the various ways to change sides (including front and rear crosses), start to build the number of obstacles in a sequence, introduce different jump sequences, build on contact obstacle performance, still at lowered heights, and build on weave pole performance, with gradually narrowing channel weaves and 2x2s for reliable entrances. Students are expected to have weave poles at home with which to practice.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Contacts and Weaves 6 55 mins Handlers and dogs should have basic obedience and an introduction to weave pole and contact work. In this class we will work lots on whatever contacts are available and on weaves and weave entries. We will also work on handling maneuvers and short sequencing as time allows. Handlers and dogs should have basic obedience and an introduction to weave pole and contact work.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Contacts 6 30 mins Intro to Agility, with at least some introduction to Contacts If your dog is not confidently performing their contacts independently, you will find this class helpful. We will be working stopped contacts. As well as building confidence and speed.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Weaves 6 25 mins Dogs need to have taken a basic obedience class and be able work in a group class setting. This class will focus on teaching weave entries and channel weave and teaching independent weave poles Lets make weave poles fun for your dog!
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility 3 6 55 mins Agility 2 or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We continue to build on the skills learned in Intro to Agility and Agility 2. We will expand on the number of obstacles in sequences (4-6 with side changes, 6-8 without), expand on the types of jump sequences, build contacts to full height for the dogs that are > 12 months old, strengthen contact obstacle performance, and continue to build on weave pole performance, with gradually narrowing channel weaves and 2x2s for reliable entrances. Students are expected to have weave poles at home with which to practice.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility 4 6 55 mins Agility 3 or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We continue to build on the skills learned in Intro to Agility, Agility 2 and Agility 3. We will expand on the number of obstacles in sequences (8-10 with side changes), build contacts to full height for the dogs that are > 12 months old, strengthen contact obstacle performance, and continue to build on weave pole performance, with the goal of completely closed weaves and independent entries. Students are expected to have weave poles at home with which to practice.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Pre-Novice 6 55 mins Instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. This is a class for my students and others who are almost, but not quite, doing closed weave poles. Most are doing full height contacts and all need to work on sequencing and handling techniques.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility Run Thrus and Course Analysis 4 55 mins Instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. This class is for students who are running all or parts of a course with closed weave poles and full height contacts. We will take turns running a course and discussing handling options, in order to find what works best for your team. All levels welcome. Everyone will get equal time to work the course.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility Skills 6 55 mins Knowledge of all agility obstacles; comfortable on full height contact equipment; ability to perform short obstacle sequences consistently; working at least 6 weave poles. This class focuses on handling skills, building weaving skills, and building contact obstacle sills with emphasis on two-on-two-off contact performance. We build to working a full course of 13-15 obstacles. This is a great course for the 1st-time handler.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Novice Ring Prep 6 55 mins Instructor Approval Required. This is a class for students who can do closed weave poles and are doing sequencing . In this class we take turns running parts of a competition Agility course. Different levels of experience are welcome.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Novice Agility Handling 6 55 mins Agility 4 or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. This class will focus on handling skills, learning how to front cross, rear cross, and blind cross. Building weave skills with channeled weaves, and building contact obstacle criteria (2o2o, 4 on the floor, running). Team will continue to work on running a full course of 13-15 obstacles. Proofing will be introduced focusing on start line stays, contacts, and weaving. In addition to attention and motivation.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Novice Agility Ring Prep 6 55 mins Must have completed Novice Agility Handling or Agility 4, or have instructor approval. This is a competition class for teams preparing to, or competing at the Novice level for any venue (AKC, CPE, NADAC,USDAA). This class focuses on the team. Handler-Dog teams will be given course challenges each week based on a certain skill and course feature. This class works on how to best maneuver a course and its challenges as a team. Each week will be a different challenge. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team. Dogs are expected to be able to safely and consistently perform all agility obstacles and be able to weave 12 weave poles.
Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Novice/Open Problem Solving & Proofing 6 55 mins Competiting at the Novice/Open Level. Instructor approval required. Competition class ONLY.
Must be competing at the Novice/Open Level. Are you having problems with contacts, start lines, wide turns, motivation, attention, etc? This is a combination class offering problem solving and proofing. This class will also include back side jumps, learning how to set line for jumping sequences and more advanced distance work. Course walk-through work and course analysis is an important component of the class. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team.
Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Competition Agility I & 2 6 55 mins AKC Novice title or equivalent, or screening approval. In this class, we will walk and run a full agility course. We will discuss different ways to handle the course, to meet the needs of different handlers and dogs. Every week we will work on specific skill sets that are needed for the course, and break it down to work on those skill sets. Different skill levels are welcome, but dogs in this class need to be able to work closed weave poles and full height contacts. Handlers need to be familiar with basic handling maneuvers, such as front and rear crosses. This class will be oriented for those already competing or getting ready to compete at Agility trials.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility Problem Solving & Proofing 6 55 mins Competing at the Open or Excellent level. Instructor approval required. Competition class ONLY.
Must be competing at the Open/Excellent Level. Are you having problems with contacts, start lines, wide turns, motivation, attention, etc? This is a combination class offering problem solving and proofing. This class will also include back side jumps, learning how to set line for jumping sequences and more advanced distance work. Course walk-through work and course analysis is an important component of he class. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team. Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Advanced Agility Problem Solving & Proofing 6 55 mins Competing at the Open or Excellent level. Instructor approval required. Competition class ONLY.
Must be competing at the Open/Excellent Level. Are you having problems with contacts, start lines, wide turns, motivation, attention, etc? This is a combination class offering problem solving and proofing. This class will also include back side jumps, learning how to set line for jumping sequences and more advanced distance work. Course walk-through work and course analysis is an important component of he class. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team. Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Excellent Agility Problem Solving & Proofing 6 55 mins Competing at the Open or Excellent level. Instructor approval required. Competition class ONLY.
Must be competing at the Open/Excellent Level. Are you having problems with contacts, start lines, wide turns, motivation, attention, etc? This is a combination class offering problem solving and proofing. This class will also include back side jumps, learning how to set line for jumping sequences and more advanced distance work. Course walk-through work and course analysis is an important component of he class. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team. Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Masters Agility Problem Solving & Proofing 6 55 mins Competing at the Open or Excellent level. Instructor approval required. Competition class ONLY. Must be competing at the Open/Excellent Level. Are you having problems with contacts, start lines, wide turns, motivation, attention, etc? This is a combination class offering problem solving and proofing. This class will also include back side jumps, learning how to set line for jumping sequences and more advanced distance work. Course walk-through work and course analysis is an important component of he class. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team. Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Open/Excellent Agility Problem Solving & Proofing 6 55 mins Competing at the Open or Excellent level. Instructor approval required. Competition class ONLY. Must be competing at the Open/Excellent Level. Are you having problems with contacts, start lines, wide turns, motivation, attention, etc? This is a combination class offering problem solving and proofing. This class will also include back side jumps, learning how to set line for jumping sequences and more advanced distance work. Course walk-through work and course analysis is an important component of he class. We will discus all options for running the course, which is most efficient, and which is best for the team. Limit of 6 dogs and handlers. Bring toys, treats, and a pill bottle with a lid that fits in your hand.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility 3 - 5 weeks 5 55 mins Agility 2 or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We continue to build on the skills learned in Intro to Agility and Agility 2. We will expand on the number of obstacles in sequences (4-6 with side changes, 6-8 without), expand on the types of jump sequences, build contacts to full height for the dogs that are > 12 months old, strengthen contact obstacle performance, and continue to build on weave pole performance, with gradually narrowing channel weaves and 2x2s for reliable entrances. Students are expected to have weave poles at home with which to practice.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility 4 - 5 weeks 5 55 mins Agility 3 or instructor approval. Screening required if you have not trained at Northfield before. We continue to build on the skills learned in Intro to Agility, Agility 2 and Agility 3. We will expand on the number of obstacles in sequences (8-10 with side changes), build contacts to full height for the dogs that are > 12 months old, strengthen contact obstacle performance, and continue to build on weave pole performance, with the goal of completely closed weaves and independent entries. Students are expected to have weave poles at home with which to practice.
Equipment: 4-6 ft cloth or leather leash, flat collar, treat bag, lots of small soft treats, toy that does not roll or squeak, and sensible shoes in which handler can run.
Course Name Weeks Length Prerequisites Description
Agility Skills 5 weeks 5 55 mins Knowledge of all agility obstacles; comfortable on full height contact equipment; ability to perform short obstacle sequences consistently; working at least 6 weave poles. This class focuses on handling skills, building weaving skills, and building contact obstacle sills with emphasis on two-on-two-off contact performance. We build to working a full course of 13-15 obstacles. This is a great course for the 1st-time handler.