The Lake Country Jumping Agility Mutts have been going to Oyama Fun Day since 2005 and they are back again this year. It is all in a season’s work for these exuberant, well trained dogs and their owners.
At Oyama Fun Days this year, the Agility Mutts will have a small course set up with an announcer to explain the various tricks and skills the dogs will be showing off.
The dogs love to perform and please their owners. It gives spectators the opportunity to see what hard work and patience can accomplish.
The Agility Mutts are a non-profit registered society with about a dozen or so current members, said David Yates, the club president. The majority of their members are from Lake Country but the dedication of the club has attracted a few members from further afield.
As part of the Agility Association of Canada the club allows all breeds and mixes to join. Only your imagination limits the breed said Yates.
During the summer the club members can be found practicing on Friday mornings at Swalwell Park. It is an occasion that can sometimes draw passerby to stop for a time to watch the hard work and dedication of the dogs and owners.
Yates explained that it takes patience and dedication to excel in the sport.
If people are interested and think they and their dog would benefit there is a pre-agility introductory class that must be taken first to see if the world of agility dogs is right for both dog and owner.
“You get a taste to see if you like it,” said Yates. “If you want to continue there is a six-week beginner course that is slightly more intense before you join the club.”
Yates has long been involved with agility training. He started off in the sport with a rescue dog for which agility was important. Today he has two border collies, both the classic black and white.
His older dog, Louie, was second at the national championships two years ago. While his younger dog, Kayla, is incredibly fast, but is looking to develop more focus.
The club is designed to make training as fun as possible for the dogs. Owners use two types of rewards for good behaviour—food and play. Food delivers a reward quickly, and play is an extended reward.
“Our initial goal is to make the dogs happy,” Yates said.