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Getting started in Agility

The Kennel Club has unveiled a series of ‘Getting started in…’ videos, which show dog lovers how they can get involved in a range of activities with their canine companion.

Each video is narrated by an ex-YKC member, with demonstrations from their four-legged teammate, including tips on how to get into the activity, what it takes to be successful as well as practical training advice.

Here we show you how to get started in agility. Learn more about agility. Find out how to take part in agility as a YKC member.

Interview with Anthony Clarke

After years of competing in agility as a Young Kennel Club member, Anthony spoke to us about his background in the discipline and how he felt being asked to be the presenter of this campaign.

How long were you a member of the YKC?

I joined the YKC in 1996 and ran my last YKC event in 2009 after winning the Agility Dog of the Year at Crufts.

What was your favourite part of being a YKC member?

I have so many YKC highlights. The Agility Dog of the Year was the largest junior final in the UK when I was running in juniors and to have won it four times was a massive honour and something I am very proud of. A moment that will stay with me was being the first YKC agility member to represent GB at the Junior European Open Championships in 2007, where I went on to win the overall gold medal.

Are you still active in the world of dogs?

Yes, my life revolves around the dog world. I spend weekends travelling up and down the country competing with my dogs and during the week running my own dog training centre in the Cotswolds.

What do you do for work?

I manage my own K9 Centre in the Cotswolds, where we offer multiple dog-related departments including hydrotherapy, day care, grooming and a wide range of training for both competitive and pet owners.

What’s your favourite part about agility?

I would be lying if I didn’t say the feeling of having to perform under pressure at a big event. I have a very competitive nature and love the pressure and excitement of standing on the start line knowing the run I am about to do means something.  

How did it feel to be asked to present for The Kennel Club and encourage new people to join agility?

It was an honour to be part of the exciting new project. The planning and production from The Kennel Club was fantastic and I feel the ‘getting started in...’ guides will help encourage new people to take that next step and get involved. Working behind the scenes at The Kennel Club was a great learning experience and something that I thoroughly enjoyed.

What would you say to someone thinking about taking part in agility or the YKC?

Go for it and don’t hold back! I would encourage everyone to gain as much experience as they can at a young age; exposure to events and learning at a young age is something I took full advantage of. Being part of the YKC gives you exposure to other dog-related disciplines that help to develop your learning,  which can help teach you so much about dogs and training. I would highly recommend it.

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