Learning to sit is just the start
Dogs were made for walking and that’s what owners should do.
The Southland Dog Training Club are calling for people to get out and about with their dogs.
The club will be hosting an agility championship on November 19 at their clubrooms at Turnbull Thompson Park.
Trainer Marie McDonald hoped the competition would inspire others to get active and build a relationship with their dogs.
Dogs and their owners would run through 10 to 25 different obstacles including fenceweaving, tunnels and jumps.
‘‘It’s pretty amazing to watch. ‘‘I think people watch this kind of sport and think it is impossible for them, but it isn’t.’’
Basic obedience training was the foundation of the sport.
‘‘Once they get that, there is almost nothing we can’t teach them.’’
Southland had a high dog population and it was important that owners were active with their animals, she said.
‘‘Dogs need to exercise and they need to be social.’’
The key to a healthy relationship with a dog was much like with a human – communication.
This was why training was so important.
‘‘When people have a welltrained dog and they don’t have to worry about its behaviour, they want to do more.’’
Elaine Youthed couldn’t think of anything better than spending a Sunday morning jumping hoops with her best mate, Time.
The ex-SPCA heading dog was once shy, a victim of abuse.
‘‘She used to shy away from everything when she first started.’’
Now she sat anxious and excited on the edge of the field, impatiently waiting for her turn on the agility course, she said.
‘‘When they start opening up and trusting people again and you are responsible for that, it’s just a really cool feeling.’’
It was a grunty sport but anyone with a dog could do it, she said.
‘‘We have big dogs, little dogs, young dog owners and even 80-year-olds who come along.’’
The Agility Championship will run on the November 19 from 9am. Spectators are welcome.
Obedience training and agility training are offered through the Southland Dog Training Club.
Agility training is held every Sunday from 9.30am to 12.30pm at at the club, located at Turnbull Thompson Park.
Southland Dog Training Club trainer Marie McDonald puts her border collie through an agility course.
Marie McDonald puts her heading dog Laddie through an agility course