Agility is a sport in which a handler directs a dog running through an obstacle course.  The courses are complicated enough that a dog could not complete them correctly without the handler’s help.  Handlers use voice, body movement, and hand signals to direct the dog to safely complete the obstacles in the correct order. Dogs universally love agility, and handlers find a deeper bond growing between themselves and their dog. To learn more, see the AKC Agility Website.

CTA offers agility classes at all levels, starting with basic skills and advancing to the highest competition level. Our instructors are experienced in working with a wide range of breeds and owner training levels. Agility classes are 6 weeks long and 1.5 hours with a maximum of 6-8 dogs per class.

CTA does have a few pre-requisites for participation in agility:

  • Dogs must be at least 12 months of age
  • Dogs must have graduated from a basic obedience class from CTA or a similar dog training group.
  • Dogs must be able to work off-leash around other dogs. No aggressive or out-of-control dogs are allowed.
  • In the interest of fairness, one dog and handler team should work through the entire class. Each additional dog will require a separate fee and an additional handler.
  • No harsh training techniques are allowed.
  • To avoid unfair distractions, dogs in season are not allowed in basic classes. Females wearing appropriate panties may be allowed in advanced classes with prior approval from the instructor.

Basic Agility Classes

The basic class introduces the foundation elements of agility. Students will learn how to negotiate the various obstacles: The A-frame, the dog walk, the teeter, single and double jumps, tunnels, chutes, the tire jump, the pause table and weave poles.  Using a variety of fun training techniques, our knowledgeable instructors will tailor training sessions to speed your dog’s understanding of the basic exercises.

Instructors will advise you when you have mastered the fundamentals of the sport and are ready to advance to the Intermediate class.

Intermediate Agility Classes 

Students will continue to refine their handling skills including hand signals for the dog.  The difficulty of the obstacles will gradually increase to competition levels.  This is a highly rewarding class where you can visibly see your dog learning to watch you and moving with increasing assurance through the agility course. Instructors will advise you when you have mastered the fundamentals of the sport and are ready to advance to the Competition Level class.

Competition Agility Classes

Agility techniques are refined and focused.  Speed will be increased.  Instructors will work with you on your specific areas of weakness as you prepare to enter and compete in AKC agility shows.


CTA Agility classes are six weeks long with a maximum of eight dogs per class. All Agility classes are taught at the Beltsville location in building # 6822.

Anyone interested in enrolling should carefully read the class descriptions and class prerequisites to make sure the class is a good match before signing up.

The agility facility is also available for rent in half-hour units by advanced students who need more time for practice. Renters must be a current CTA member. Instructors get ½ price rentals. Prior approval by your instructor or the agility training director is needed before reserving the agility room. We require a 15-minute orientation session prior to renting for anyone who is a new renter or who hasn’t rented in the last 2 years. Please contact Maureen Shea at to find an available time slot.

Frequently Asked Questions