What to Pack For a Dog Agility Trial

by Melissa R. on September 7, 2010

Our Set Up

Our Set Up: Mocca prefers to be outside in

When I got ready for our first agility trial, I was very overwhelmed. I didn’t know what to bring, or not bring. I packed a HUGE duffel bag full of everything including the kitchen sink. Come to find out, I didn’t need all of that after all! Here is a run down of what I bring. Please comment and let me know what you bring.

Agility Trial Packing Lists

For Mocca (the dog):

  • AKC height card
  • Trial collar: flat buckle collar with no tags or attachments (very important, you can be disqualified for having tags or a loop collar)
  • Leash
  • Potty baggies (ALWAYS have a potty baggie handy! One must always clean up after one’s pet)
  • Wet wipes & paper towel….just in case
  • TREATS! When we are waiting for our turn to run, I give Mocca treats to keep her attention on me. Then when we are done, she gets the very SPECIAL liver treats she loves the most….and then of course, a few other treats in between everything. Lots of treats on agility trial day, but that makes it even more fun for Mocca.
  • Treat bag!
  • Favorite pink squeaky ball toy
  • A gallon jug of clean cool water
  • Water bowl
  • Crate. We have one of these canvas fold-up crates. It is so easy to take down & slip into the trunk and set back up again, plus I like the options for shades. Don’t forget the crate mat for the bottom.
  • Reflective heat resistant cover for the crate if it is going to be very hot and it is an outside show with no shade. I got mine from my dad, who used to fight forest fires….Potentially you can get them at an outdoors type store? Some trials have indoor crating available, which is nice when it’s hot out. However Mocca prefers to be outside, so we are set up for that in all instances and how to keep it cool for her.
  • Clamps for reflective sheet mentioned above. Windy days are the worst so I always have plenty of clamps.
  • Fans, just in case it is very hot. We sell a small hook-on fan that works nice for metal crates. You can also find a larger battery-operated fan (that you see in my photo above) at many hardware stores.

For Me:

  • Agility trial schedule if available
  • Bug spray & sunscreen
  • Fold up chair. Try not to bring one that is too big…there oftentimes isn’t much room.
  • Cooler with PLENTY of water for myself and quick snacks. I am always a nervous wreck on these days, so it is easier for me to have quick snacks around to grab than eat a lunch at the trial. Lots of places have food for sale by various rescue groups, etc. I also always forget to drink anything, so I find it best to have water available readily for both myself, and Mocca!
  • Camera & video camera
  • Various layers of clothing and changes of shoes depending on the weather: hot, cold, rain, snow!

One thing I think I should start bringing is a log book, or journal of sorts so that I can really keep track of things, and what the course was like, what we did wrong, etc. I’ve seen others doing this and think it is a great idea. Any other ideas? Please share!
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About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the DrsFosterSmith.com and LiveAquaria.com websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary September 7, 2010 at 9:42 am

Ilka’s nowhere near ready for an obedience trial, so I don’t have a list of things to bring with to a trial or other competition. What I do have is a hurricane evacuation list. I list everything we will need to take with us, right down to socks for us and extra collars for the cats. That way, I can check it off as it is packed into the cars, and I will be reasonably certain we have everything we need to stay in Colorado for a few weeks, until it is safe to come home.

We take clothes, toiletries, etc. for us, making sure that we have plenty of our son’s prescriptions. As for the critters, the usual food, water (I prefer the 20 oz size bottles, as the can be stuffed almost anywhere), a funnel to fill the carrier water dishes with (so I don’t have to open the door if I don’t need to), Rabies Certificates (we cross several state lines on the trip), food and water bowls, leashes, pickup bags, toys, treats, and so forth. Make sure you take a can opener if the canned food doesn’t have pull off lids, and that kibble and seed are in water/spill-proof containers.

One tip I can give is use puppy pads in the cat carriers, They are more absorbant that newspaper, and you don’t have to wash them like you would a towel. Lucky wears a harness, and is hooked up to a seatbelt. I need to start training Ilka to wear a harness also, as I have been using a crate for her in the car thus far. We will probably be starting this week with that, because the crate takes up too much room in the back seat, and I will need to be able to get 5 cat carriers and a bird carrier in the car beside the two dogs and myself. My husband has the kids and their stuff with him in his car, and I have all the pet supplies (with a few essentials of my own). That way, if we get seperated somehow, we have what we need to take care of who we have with us.

Liz B January 5, 2017 at 11:03 pm

I actually have a 3 part list. Mine is on a spreadsheet so I can check it off multiple times.
Part 1 class. Yes, I have gotten to class without a leash, or treats…
Part 2 trial I recently separated into all trials, and extra for outdoor trials.
Part 3 trial with travel

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