Agility dogs

A few months ago I photographed a dock diving demonstration hosted by the Golden Retriever Club of Columbus. That club had another meeting that featured more active dogs a few nights ago - that was a demonstration for agility that took place at Darby Creek Kennels in Grove City. Although it's the Golden Retriever Club, Alyssa and Mike with Darby Creek have Australian shepherds on the farm, so that breed was the star of the evening.

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Handsome Rowdy jumps high! Rowdy had an injury to his Achilles tendon as a puppy and doesn't do conformation showings (which to lay people like me means Best in Show competitions). The injury affects his gait, so those dogs in conformation competitions must be perfect for the judging. That's the "down and back" trot we see on televised shows like Westminster. He looks perfect to me!

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So many fun obstacles on this farm!

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This is the weave. Alyssa and Mike showed us how they get dogs used to doing a weave by starting out with two bars very far apart and then gradually moving them together. Clicker training definitely helps. I'm sure the herding dog instinct in them makes them eager to work.

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Little Oakley mid-run peeks out as he rounds the curve of the tunnel.

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I found it fascinating that both Mike and Alyssa said that Shimmer takes agility very, very seriously. It's a job to her. Shimmer actually gets upset at Alyssa if she turns her shoulder a little early during the run, throwing Shimmer off her game.

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Clearly she's having a good time weaving!

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In addition to all those Australian shepherds, there's this handsome pup, Enzo, a border collie destined for agility someday!

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I was promised that Rowdy was very photogenic, and how true it is! I love his heart-shaped marking on his forehead and those lovely brown eyes.

Now I just wish my own dog would be willing to do agility!