SUMMARY: The sport has changed so much.
Video of agility demo at Crufts, 1978. Take note of the equipment, the speed and athleticism of the dogs (and handlers), how close the handlers are to their dogs, the complexity of the course, the difference in speed between the different dogs.
Video of agility final round at Crufts, 2017. (the beginning includes a clear graphic video of the dog's path through the course. After that, I like the run starting at 21:15 as an example)
Compare and contrast: the equipment, the speed and athleticism of the dogs (and handlers), how close the handlers are to their dogs, the complexity of the course, the difference in speed between the different dogs.
And some context for you:
- 1978: Dog agility originated as a fun demo sport at Crufts (or possibly much earlier; see the Wikipedia article).
- 1980: First official agility sport rules definition, by The Kennel Club; first official competition at Crufts that year.
- 1983: First agility-specific organization founded (Agility Club in the UK).
- 1984: First agility-specific organization started in the U.S.
- 1987: First time small dogs could compete at the national level, at Olympia (until then, it was all large/tall dogs).
- 1987: First agility competition in the U.S.
- "In 1988, almost no one had heard of dog agility in the United States, while meanwhile in England it had become an extremely popular sport, drawing hundreds of spectators."
- 1989: with TV exposure, agility started its boom in the U.S.
- 1991: Power Paws Agility (where I've taken most of my training) was founded in San Jose, I believe the only training facility anywhere near the SF Bay Area at that time, so people came to weekly classes from as far as 2 hours away.
- 1992: My agility club, The Bay Team, was founded. I believe at the time there was an dog breed club who held events in Fresno, but that's about it. BT held their first competition in 1993.
- 1995: I started agility training.
- 1996: January, my first competition, with Remington.
- 2014: late in the year, my last competition, with Boost. (Maybe will be able to do again someday. Who knows.)
- 2018: I still follow agility and occasionally do some backyard training and take classes.