Dogs of all sizes burned up the course in Columbus, Ohio. Here are the best of the best.
black and white border collie running an agility course; 2022 American Kennel Club Agility Champions
Credit: Sabine Glässl / Adobe Stock

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has announced the winners of the 2022 AKC Agility Dog Premier Cup, which was held July 9, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. This means we get to talk about one of my very favorite things: sporty dogs doing sporty things.

If you're not familiar with the basic concept of agility competitions, here's your cliff's notes: Agility courses are basically obstacle courses with a number of different challenges—usually between 14 and 20—set up for dogs to make their way through. Jumps, ramps, weave poles, tunnels, tire jumps, seesaws, A-frames, and a pause table are all used in various combinations to create a course that dogs have to sprint through with their handler. Not only are dogs timed through their circuit, but judges keep a keen eye on the run and assign faults (penalties) based on weave poles skipped, ramp touch pad areas missed, or obstacles run out of order. Too many faults and the dog can be disqualified entirely.

The pace is explosive and frantic and the connection between a dog and their handler is absolutely incredible to watch and listen to their communication. AKC calls agility "one of the fastest-growing canine sports in the United States," and if you've ever watched a clip on YouTube, it's easy to see why.

Dogs compete in categories by height, and the deserving winners are pictured and listed below. Don't miss encore broadcasts of the competition across ESPN networks (check your local listings for exact days and times).

2022 American Kennel Club Agility Champions and owners
Credit: Great Dane Photos

8" Agility Champion

Winner: Finn

Breed: Papillon

Handler: Jesse Westover

From: North Braddock, Pa.

Time: 36.314

12" Champion

Winner: Swindle

Handler: Abigail Beasley

From: Centerburg, Ohio

Time: 31.940

16" Champion

Winner: Lucky

Handler: Jennifer Crank

From: Pickerington, Ohio

Time: 36.375

20" Champion

Winner: Hallelujah

Handler: Jessica Ajoux

From: Wyncote, Pa.

Time: 30.227

24" Champion

Winner: Wit

Breed: Border collie

Handler: Perry DeWitt

From: Wyncote, Pa.

Time: 31.992