A Gentle Introduction to Dog Agility Competitions

Bee Happy Independent Dog Agility Shows

What is Bee Happy IDA?

Finding the right agility show can be tricky for new dogs and their handlers. Bee Happy Independent Dog Agility (IDA) Shows offer a relaxed and supportive environment, perfect for beginners.
After a popular independent show stopped coming to the East Midlands in 2023, we saw a need for friendly, less crowded events. These are essential for new competitors and their dogs, who might find big Kennel Club (KC) shows overwhelming with their strict rules and busy atmosphere.

Why Choose Bee Happy IDA?

  • Less Stressful Environment: We limit our shows to 130 dogs. This means less hustle and bustle, making it easier for your dog to adjust.
  • Training Opportunities: We allow training in the ring with toys or non-crumbly food treats, helping your dog get used to the competition setting.
  • Clear Boundaries: Our fully netted rings help dogs understand where they need to be, reducing anxiety.
  • Education: We teach newcomers about competition rules and etiquette so you feel confident when you compete.

How did Bee Happy IDA begin?

Why the name? Simply put, it's in honour of my first agility dog, Bumble.
I started agility with my Border Collie, Bumble, over ten years ago at Fox Agility. Selena Bray and Ru Baker were my first instructors, and with their teachings, Bumble found his calling. I was eager to compete as soon as Bumble could weave, so I booked shows nearly every weekend! 
Our first show was a KC-licensed show, and we did OK. My nerves got in the way, but I didn't let that stop me from entering more KC shows.
In my naivety, I thought I should only attend KC shows. I assumed they were the best for safety, modern course designs and top competition. 
I was wrong! While KC shows offer all that, so do other governing bodies like Agility 4 All (formerly UK Agility) and independent shows. Looking back, I wish my first shows had been independent. The pressure at KC shows was overwhelming, and Bumble would have benefited from a less stressful start.
KC shows are professional and have high standards, but are also bigger and busier. For novice handlers and dogs, this can be very distracting. Fast forward a few years, I started attending local independent shows, and my experience changed forever. These shows were well-organised with a focus on safety and fun. Without the pressure, both Bumble and I enjoyed them more.
Recently, we've been losing independent shows in the East Midlands. I teach agility and love introducing people to this wonderful activity. As Selena and Ru taught me, I take dog safety and well-being seriously. When my students want to compete, I recommend starting with independent shows. But with fewer options in the East Midlands, I decided to create my own.
After ten months of hard work, I proudly launched Bee Happy Independent Dog Agility Shows! Our first show in May was a hit, with happy handlers and dogs showing their skills in a friendly setting. We're excited for our next show on 29th June in Hose, Melton, Leicestershire.
Join us for a fun, supportive experience. Learn more at Bee Happy IDA.