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|08-26-2004, 01:24 PM||#1|
YT 6000 Club Member
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
[News] Yorkie Owner Bonds Through Agility Competitions
I've never seen a Yorkie at an agility competition, that'd be neat to see!
With the help of her Yorkshire terrier, Millie, Petoskey resident Shirley Burns' competitive spirit has been awakened.
For the past four years, the two have regularly traveled to dog agility competitions around Michigan and beyond. Burns and other owners run alongside as the dogs negotiate a variety of agility tests.
"It's a way to bond with your animals," Burns said. "It gets them to obey you better."
Millie and about a dozen other Northern Michigan dogs of various sizes will get a chance to prove just how agile they are for spectators at the Emmet County Fair. Burns is organizing a demonstration during a 45-minute intermission in the fair's combine demolition derby.
To view the dog event, fairgoers will need to purchase admission for the derby, which starts at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, at the fair's grandstand. Tickets are $10 for adults or $5 for children ages 5-12, with those under 5 admitted free.
Some 13 agility tests will be set up for the dogs to negotiate. Among them will be a series of poles for the canines to weave amongst, a curved tunnel to negotiate through and a teeter totter on which they'll need to find the balance point, then smoothly descend the other side.
The competition will follow rules set by the American Kennel Club, one of numerous organizations sanctioning dog agility events.
"It's cute," Burns said. "Everyone in the audience says 'I can do that with my dog' - until they go home and try to get them to do it on command."
Burns' dog, Millie, has achieved an Excellence title from the AKC for her agility feats and advanced to the second of four recognition levels in United Kennel Club's competition.
"Millie kind of surprises the crowd," Burns said. "She's little and she does all of the things that the big dogs do."
Burns and her friend, Agnes Shaw, first took an interest in dog agility when they learned a class covering the subject was available in Eastport.
"The dogs really liked it," Burns said. "They caught on."
Since then, events have kept Burns and her Yorkshire terrier busy on many weekends.
"I could go every weekend in Michigan alone," she said.
Shaw, the Emmet-Charlevoix County Fair's manager, has two Shelties, Skeeter and Sadie, who will perform agility tests Friday. She has an agility course set up outside her Springvale Township home where her dogs and others can practice with their owners.
"It's been a lot of fun for us," Shaw said. "It's an interesting way to train your dog. They learn a lot of skills through having fun."
The challenges have helped Sadie overcome her shyness and build confidence, she added.
|08-27-2004, 05:34 PM||#2|
Senior Yorkie Talker
Join Date: Mar 2004
Max's agility comes and goes
What a great article....who knew that these tiny little guys/girls could be competitive in this forum.
Of course, Max, the drama king, has tremendous agility....but it comes and goes.....for example.
He leaps off the big antique bed when he is excited enough..... and I am not immediately by the side of the bed ......but he pretends that he can not hop onto our low sofa without my help. He will sit on the floor, looking up at me with those little round brown eyes, ears back and a pitiful helpless look on his furry little face
Any obstacle (that has not been on the floor before) will stop him in his tracks and he will walk waaayyyyyy around it.....but let the cat go by or a he sees a squirrel out the backdoor....and he leaps over it like a gazelle.
He plays me like a drum.......