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NADAC Hoopers:

a new dog sport in the UK

About Hoopers:

Hoopers is a dog sport, originating in America, (by NADAC: North American Dog Agility Council), in the 1990s. It has subsequently begun to spread into Europe in recent years, but remains extremely new to the UK. It is based on, but developed as an alternative discipline from, dog agility. It is a unique, fun, and challenging game & a great new tool for training foundation skills and refining handling.

Instead of jumps & contact equipment, the course is made up entirely of hoops but often other obstacles are used too: eg: barrels to wrap around, gates to run round & short wide tunnels to negotiate. As there is no jumping, contact equipment or tight turns, there is therefore, minimal impact on dogs’ joints & limbs, making Hoopers far more inclusive & accessible than agility. It is suitable for most dogs: from puppies, to dogs retired from sporting activities, older or less physically able dogs & to those recovering from injury. The focus is on dog & handler working together as a team & the emphasis is on smooth flowing lines & speed. Hoopers encourages distance handling by verbal & visual cues around a course. Training is positive; without pressure & the dog learns to think for themselves & to work independently.

NADAC Hoopers courses:

There are wide variations of Hoopers courses, but the most popular are:

Strategic courses: where there are non-test Hoops, (usually 3 or 4 Hoops in a straight line, which should always be taken first, followed by a series of different sequences of test Hoops to choose from, (which may include snakes, weaves, pinwheels etc). The handler is assessed on their interaction with the dog, flowing lines & speed.

Numbered course: these are run in order of the numbers and bonus points can be earned for speed & distance handling.

Extreme courses: which involve a circle of hoops & sometimes gates, with 3 or 4 openings. The handler works from behind a line & directs the dog from a distance in a flowing journey around the course.

Why we like Hoopers so much

Hoopers is very inclusive & is kind to both the dogs’ physical & emotional welfare. It is suitable for most dogs & handlers; irrespective of age, size, mobility & health. Courses can be approached from walking pace, right through to ‘fast as lightning’ speed, as well as handling from a distance. Our 1-1 sessions make this sport accessible & enjoyable for those dogs who find class situations difficult, or are exempted breeds. There is also the ability to compete via video submissions, rather than the requirement to enter a busy competition with many other dogs present.

The emphasis is on the uninterrupted flowing lines of the course & so, the dog is able to build up considerable speed, without any risk to them physically. The dog is directed far less than in agility & their flow is not interrupted in the same way. Because of the increased speed, there becomes a point where, in order to allow your dog the freedom to run fast & free, distance handling helps both dog & handler.

Also, part of the integral philosophy is the bond & teamwork between handler & dog, with the dog able to make more decisions for themselves; with the handler respecting this & helping the dog with the journey around the course.

Hoopers is refreshingly different & once tried, can become far more addictive than agility!

Booking a session:

Hoopers sessions will be scheduled throughout the year. Please follow our Facebook site for latest news & dates.

Please click here for prices.