through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off
leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler can touch neither dog
nor obstacles. Consequently the
handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals,
requiring exceptional training of the animal and coordination of the handler.
standard obstacles laid out by a judge in a design of his or her own choosing
in an area of a specified size. The surface may be of grass, dirt, rubber, or
special matting. Depending on the type of competition, the obstacles may be
marked with numbers indicating the order in which they must be completed.
them correctly without human direction. In competition, the handler must assess
the course, decide on handling strategies, and direct the dog through the
course, with precision and speed equally important. Many strategies exist to
compensate for the inherent difference in human and dog speeds and the
strengths and weaknesses of the various dogs and handlers.