The idea of dog agility was first conceived in 1977 by John Varley, a member of the Crufts Dog Show Committee. He was asked to organize entertainment in the main arena in the gap between the obedience championship and the group judging at Crufts. Varley imagined a canine version of horse show jumping due to his experience with horses. He asked his friend Peter Meanwell, a renowned Working Trials competitor and judge, to develop a fun dog agility event based on his working knowledge of dogs. Dog agility was intended to be a fun event that would provide spectator appeal.
The dog agility event was unveiled on February 10, 1978, at the Crufts Dog Show in London, England. It consisted of two teams headed by Peter Meanwell and Trevor Jones respectively with four handlers/dogs each. Each team also had one reserve. The event was such a success with the crowd that it was followed up in 1979 at both Crufts and the International Horse Show at Olympia. In 1986, the sport of dog agility jumped “the pond” to the US when the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) was formed. In a short period of time, several other organizations were developed to support this evolving, fast-growing and fun dog sport.
Sherry Porter, Morene Brown, and Terry Casey organized Tucson’s first agility club in January 1994, then named “Desert Agility Dogs”. It changed its name to “Saguaro Scramblers Agility Club” a year later when it was discovered that USDAA had a registered trademark on “Agility Dog®”. while the name may have changed, the club has remained true to its goal: to promote the sport of dog agility in Tucson through training and competition. Since its inception, Saguaro Scramblers has expanded from its original membership of twelve to about 60 today. The club currently sponsors six trials each year, two each of AKC, NADAC and USDAA.
Arizona Agility Clubs
Northern Arizona & Vicinity
Sky High Jumpers Agility Club: Flagstaff, AZ
Turns 'N' Wraps: Chino Valley, AZ
Verde Valley Dog Obedience & Agility Club: Cottonwood, AZ
Phoenix Metro Area
Contact Zonies Agility: Phoenix, AZ
Good Dog Agility Club: Chandler/Mesa, AZ
Jumping Chollas Agility Club: Phoenix, AZ
Desert Dawg Sports Club: (CPE, UKI)
Saguaro Scramblers Agility Club: (AKC, NADAC, USDAA)