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Top 10 Best Dogs for Agility Training

If you’re looking to get into your dog into the dog sports arena, you might want to be sure to pick the dog that you can most easily and effectively train, especially in terms of improving agility. Here are some great picks for agility training dogs you can bring to your next competition.

Our Votes for the Best Dogs for Agility Training

1. Border Collie

Border Collies are probably most at home in agility-based dog sports; most of the best dog sports winners will typically belong to this breed. Border Collies have agility down pat because of their natural herding skills, which allow them to work with their handlers from a distance. These guys might be perfect if you want a more hands-on, reliable agility dog.

best breeds for agility training

2. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russells are great for agility training mostly due to their high energy, which means they can hold up to a lot more punishment and have greater endurance. Jack Russells are tenacious, determined, and intense, with a great deal of cleverness and control to keep their energy focused. You could do a lot worse than this kind of dog for agility training.

what makes a good agility dog

3. Papillon

Papillons are relatively new to the agility scene, but they are no less fierce in their willingness to win and their ability. Paps are fantastic for their fearlessness and sheer speed, as well as their easy trainability – you’ll be able to get your Pap to fighting form in no time at all, making it perfect for agility sports.

best canine agility dogs

4. Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers often involve a bit more work to tame and train, which might be a bit more of a headache for beginner trainers. However, once you have their wilder instincts tamed, their small frame, packed with energy, can yield incredible results once you have them out on the course. Agility training is perfect for this kind of dog, which always wants to be moving.

best agility dogs

5. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are some of the biggest, boldest dogs out there, so it makes sense that they could translate that pep well into solid agility results. Because of their loyalty and intense attachment to their owners, German Shepherds are eager to please, making them much easier to train. Add to that, Shepherds are constantly growing, making them stronger and faster and more enthusiastic about the sport each day.

german shepherd agility

6. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is such an old hand at agility sports, there is an entire association devoted just to this breed’s efforts in that field. Like most other dogs of this type, Australian Shepherds utilize their boundless energy to great results in the agility field, as long as they have been properly trained and have enough of a bond with their owner.

australian shepherd agility

7. Standard Poodle

While poodles may not look up to the challenge depending on which ones you see, they’ve proven to be quite the presence in the field of dog agility. Poodles are incredibly intelligent and easy to train, making them more quickly able to navigate the twists and turns inherent to the complexities of agility. They’re much more athletic than they may look, and poodles often make the top tiers of agility competitions.

most athletic dogs

8. Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpies are incredibly tough, muscular dogs whose lithe frame and tight muscle tone makes them perfect for agility training. These dogs are also incredibly durable, and they can hold up to hours of training through all manner of agility courses and still want to come back for more. These dogs are also quite intelligent and quick learners, allowing them to accomplish whatever they set out to do.

most agile dogs

9. Shetland S​​​​heepdog

These little British herding dogs look not unlike Border Collies, and can easily stand up to them in the field of agility and dog sports. Shetlands are extremely intuitive, able to pick up on training cues quickly, making them great agility dogs. Also, you can get them in all manner of sizes, so you can easily pick one that would fit the kind of agility courses you plan to encounter.

shetland agility

10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

While these dog’s tiny legs and adorable frame might make you look twice in such a competitive field, Corgis are some of the best agility dogs around. Their athleticism makes them great runners, and they are quick on their tiny feet, making them very agile. While you might doubt whether or not their little legs would clear the bars, Corgis remain a fantastic agility training option.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi


Paul is an entrepreneur and marketer for the pet industry who works out of Chicago. He teaches people how to break free of the 9-to-5 grind by blogging for a living. Currently, Paul runs the HerePup along with the team of dedicated experts – so you know he has the knowledge to help you make the right choice.

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