The Agility Association of Canada has been researching and considering the attributes, safety, and use of the chute in courses at Agility Association of Canada events for some time.
The chute was introduced as one of the original tests in agility of confidence from the dog and the handler to manage a course. As the chute does not measure skill or speed but rather confidence in team through the dog trusting the handler while entering a “blind trap” in a controlled situation. Command overrides instinct. As speed shouldn’t be the sole determinant in agility success, it has remained, and is probably one of the few obstacles left that measures that aspect of teamwork.
Therefore, in efforts to reduce a perceived stress to handler’s concerned about their dog’s safety, though the chute receives far less incident reports for injuries than other equipment in the Agility Association in Canada the following has been reviewed. Fabric composition and material length, fabric being weighted on the bottom side to reduce twisting and flipping, dog’s footing on a curved floor vs. flat floor in the frame, exits of the obstacle and distances to other obstacles in course design to ensure the dog can get re-oriented, the angles to obstacle entries to assist handlers who miscalculate their dog’s paths, the methods used to secure the chute to the site surface, and the composition and shape of the frame.
Thank you to everyone whom has voiced their opinions regarding the chute and its use in the AAC.
As of September 1, 2016, the Agility Association of Canada suspends the use of the chute in competition as there are items that can’t be addressed in the near term.
Judges may substitute one of the following in place of the chute in their course designs: 1 or 2 jumps; broad jump; or a tunnel.