Dogs show off their skills in agility trials in Cortez – The Journal
Event organized by Durango Agility Dog Club
For guaranteed smiles and a good dog time, attend the canine agility competition from Friday to Sunday at Parque de Vida in Cortez.
The event is hosted by the Durango Agility Dog Club and is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.
In agility events, individual dogs run off leash through various obstacle courses guided by the gestures and commands of their owners.
The dogs fly over the jumps, squeeze between the poles, up and down ramps, through a tunnel and negotiate a swing. The performances throughout the course are noted by judges.
A variety of races and mixed races compete against each other. Sheepdogs, such as border collies and Australian Shepherds, are particularly popular for this sport due to their intelligence, athleticism, and training ability.
Other dog breeds seen on the course were a Dachshund, Chihuahua, Labrador Retriever, Whippet, Toy Poodle, Affenpinscher, Butterfly and Jack Russell Terrier.
Dogs compete with other dogs for their size and skill level. As dogs succeed in competitions, they move up through the ranks.
About 130 dogs and 92 handlers took part in Cortez’s agility test, said Paula Scott, president of the Durango Agility Dog Club.
“People who have fun with their dogs, that’s what it’s about,” Scott said. “You and your dog are a team. “
Watching experienced dogs perform well on the course is awe-inspiring. Seeing the novice dogs get through all their mistakes and their runaway energy is also entertaining, said club member Andrea Faucette, who competes with her dogs nationally.
It takes two to four months to train a dog to complete the basic course, but it takes years of training to produce the perfect course at higher competition levels.
More than 100 people affiliated with the event have set up shade tents around the courses and parked motorhomes nearby.
The passer-by stopped to watch the excitement and learn about the sport.
Competitors came from the Four Corners area, New Mexico, Denver, Arizona and Las Vegas.
Sheri Williams, an Albuquerque vet, competes at the masters level with her red and white border collie, Beckon.
She attends agility events to “have fun with my dog and relieve stress”.
Marie Whickhorst, arriving from Tucson, Arizona, with her butterflies Trax and Fargo.
“I like the challenge. I have been practicing dog sports since I was a child, ”she said.
The sport of canine agility originated from shepherds who wanted something to do for their border collies in the winter, says Faucette.
“For a small town, it’s a big city park, without the crowds of the big cities, it’s lovely,” she said of Parque de Vida.