How do I get into the doggy sport world? (I'm in Illinois)

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Thu Sep 20, '12 1:06pm PST 
Hi all, I'm in the Chicago area. I really want to get more into the dog world from things like schutzhund to rally. I would like to experience it all at some point but I haven't even really begun anything yet.

Anyone can answer how they got active in the world of course
and for those of you in Illinois where do you go? What clubs are you in? What sports do you participate in? Do you go to doggy gatherings for tracking or agility or whatever it is you like?

How do I get more involved? I don't even need to get one of my dogs involved yet, I just would like to see what's out there and get my foot in the door. I'm really looking for more exposure and just understanding of doggy sport culture; it'd be great to meet some other folks too.

Does that make sense?
MACH4 PACH2- Aslan

Barked: Sun Sep 23, '12 12:58pm PST 
Visit shows in your area. For a list of shows, go to AKC.org and click their dog shows and calendar tab and then click events calendar. Choose what types of events you want to go see. Then...go. smile

Don't take your dog with you to these events. People showing want to know that only entered dogs are present. But do go and ask questions. Feel free to go up to the competitors and talk about the event. Ask where they train, who the area trainers are, what clubs there are, what are the rules, what's going on in the ring, etc.

However, never ask people up by the entry gate with their dogs any questions as they are about to compete. Always ask if someone has a second to answer a question before asking. People are sometimes busy at shows and really don't have time to talk. But they also may be sitting around waiting for a class and have loads of time to talk, so always ask first. As you watch the competition, look for the really good teams and go talk to them after they are done competing. If they're good, you'll want to possibly train where they do.

There are other organizations that offer various types of dog shows other than the AKC, but as there are more AKC events than anyone else, this is a good place to start. If you want to visit the events calendars of other organizations to find shows in your area, it will expand your knowledge and opportunity to visit shows.

When you decide on one or two sports to focus on, find trainers in those, enter classes and then you'll get your doggie show network established. smile

Barked: Sun Sep 23, '12 6:56pm PST 
Hello! I live in the Chicagoland area as well. I am just starting to get involved in agility. The club I attend can be found here:


I am enrolling my 6 month old puppy in agility classes at WAG's agility facility and am learning more about the sport every class I attend. The WAG website lists nearby trials. I visited a trial that was taking place in Libertyville, and it was a pleasure to watch. I would highly recommend it. If you decide you want to pursue agility, I would definitely recommend attending one of their classes if it is in a reasonable driving distance. There are some very experienced and knowledgeable people there!

Edited by author Sun Sep 23, '12 6:58pm PST


Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
Barked: Mon Sep 24, '12 10:11pm PST 
Aslan and Jax are both right on... go look and also find a training club or two. You could also look at DogSport magazine... it's a fun world out there. We dabble... so obedience, agility, dock jumping, carting, sledding. Agility training we do in several venues simultaneously. And I've trained with Charks in ob in a couple different places at the same time. We've tried tracking and herding. We're currently going through therapy dog training.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Tue Sep 25, '12 6:09pm PST 
I am in Chicago too, if you like agility there are a lot of choices for classes. Two that I've gone to are Windy City Agility Club: http://www.windycityagility.org/
And Hawk City: http://hawkcityk9.com/?page_id=28

I have also heard good things about and was planning to get involved with them eventually: http://www.chicagoagility.com/
They also have Rally and obedience classes I think.

As others mentioned just going to AKC shows is a good way to learn, there is the big IKC Dog Show every year in February, that is a big AKC show that has a lot of information booths about different clubs as well as having conformation, agility, obedience, etc... competitions and demos at the show itself.
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Wed Sep 26, '12 4:39pm PST 
What area do you live in? I live in the southwest burbs and I know a trainer who does Rally & Nosework in the Aurora area. (I am training with her in nosework).
Charlie- Chaplin

A day without- laughter is a- day wasted
Barked: Wed Sep 26, '12 5:21pm PST 
Thanks all for the advice.

I'm in both Chicago and also a northern suburb. I wish Aurora was closer, I REALLY want to do nosework with my pups.

Rally is also on the list so thanks for presenting me with that Facility Bianca and thanks for the recommendation Jax, I know Baby would love to start attending agility classes regularly.
Bianca CGC- TT HIC Thd- ♥

What big ears- you have...
Barked: Fri Sep 28, '12 12:47am PST 
I'm on the North side too.

If you're interested in Nosework here are some options in Chicago--

This one is in the city, sorta north:
Janic e is a great trainer, I've taken obedience classes with her.

Other places offering Nosework:[
http ://www.foryourk9.com/classes/index.aspx
http://animalsense.com/curr ent-class-schedule/
http://www.dogonefunchicago.com/training-group- classes

Some of those are further into the city, some are more on the north side (like Bark Bark Club) and For Your K9 is in the suburbs(Melrose Park).

What'd you say?- I wasn't- listening.
Barked: Sun Sep 30, '12 12:21am PST 
Awesome! Thanks a lot happy dance