It looks like 100 Mile House is going to the dogs on Aug. 25-26 when the Cariboo Agility Team (CAT) brings their annual dog agility trial to Lumberman’s Park.
The action takes place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 26.
The Agility Association of Canada sanctioned event will see approximately 50 dogs of all breeds, sizes and personalities test their speed and know-how on a variety of obstacle courses.
CAT president Roxanne Ziefflie is welcoming the public to come and join them for an entertaining event that she says will surprise many people.
“It’s quite amazing to see how talented these dogs are and it’s always a bit of an eye-opener for people when they see all of these different breeds and realize their dog can do this too.”
She’s expecting a great variety of dogs including several border collies and poodles which she says are excellent agility dogs and Nova Scotia duck tollers which are known to be entertaining.
“There’s a Pomeranian that’s a masters level and papillons which are small dogs. They all have to run the same distance as the large dogs so their challenge will be time.”
Ziefflie will be working with her young flat-coated retriever, Forrest, who she says will be fun to watch.
“Flat-coats can be quite entertaining and a handler really has to have a sense of humour.”
Ziefflie classes many of the participating dogs and handlers as weekend warriors but several have also recently competed and placed at national competition.
Those competing in 100 Mile House in the masters division will come under the eye of
guest judge Christine Woodley from Aldergrove while Ziefflie will judge the lower levels as they run through obstacle courses for time and accuracy.
There will be standard runs which involve every piece of equipment like tunnels, jumps, A-frames, teeter-totters, weave poles and more. Courses are laid out differently at each event so success depends on a dog’s ability to carefully follow voice commands and body signals from its handler.
An event called gamblers requires a handler to maintain distance between them and their dog while it completes a small course on its own and other classes see the dog working alongside the handler, responding to commands under direct control. The steeplechase is a speed event with obstacles and Ziefflie says it’s all about the fastest dog.
“It gives dogs an opportunity to go all out where time is the main factor rather than faults.”
The purpose of the trial is to allow dogs to accumulate qualifying scores that will move them up in the rankings. A total of three qualifying runs under different judges are required for a dog to advance and earn titles.
The trial will feature handlers and their dogs from Prince George, Kamloops, Vernon and other centres in the Interior as well as a small contingent from the South Cariboo.