Client Success Story: Sue and Blackie

dog agility classesSue started training with “I Said Sit!” when she first brought home her two rescue dogs, Blackie and Biscuit, when they were just a few months old. They started out coming to school at “I Said Sit!” for our Day Care Training program and from there they have branched out into the exciting world of dog sports and have have started competing in agility and K9 Nose Work. This year Sue and Blackie were able to attend the Nationals for agility and Sue was kind enough to share her story and outline how the competition works. We are so proud to see how far she has taken both her dogs!

A Look at Competition Agility

We attended the National Agility Trials sponsored by Canine Performance Events (CPE), which is one of at least five organizations in the US (including AKC, USDAA, ASCA, and NADAC) that sponsor Agility events. Blackie and I traveled (informally) with a group of 5 other handlers (6 dogs) from SoCal, all of whom we know from local trials.

This year, CPE Nationals were held in Lake Elmo, MN from June 6-8; 484 dogs competed. To be eligible for Nationals, a dog must be in level 4, 5, or C (champion) in all 7 CPE “classes.”

Blackie is in level 5 or C in all classes. When she completes level 5 in all classes, she will receive her C-ATCH (CPE-Agility Team Championship). At this point, she only needs 8 more qualifying runs to receive her C-ATCH!

Over the three days, dogs did a total of 9 runs: 3 Standard (one per day) and one each of the other 6 (Jackpot, Fullhouse, Colors, Wildcard, Snooker, and Snooker). Some of these classes are typical sequenced courses — pre-numbered by the Judge. Others are “games” in which the object is to take obstacles and earn as many points as possible. These games are particularly fun, because they allow the handler to choose a course at which his/her dog will excel.

Next year, Nationals will be held in Jacksonville, FL in April. Blackie and I are already making plans to attend next year, and next year, Biscuit will be eligible to join us!

So far, we have only competed in CPE Trials, in part because WLAOTC is a CPE Club and sponsors two annual CPE trials. CPE is a very beginner friendly venue for competition, so it makes it easy for a handler who has never previously competed to become involved in the sport. In part, this is due to having so many different levels of competition (6 total). Any the same time, as one advances in CPE, the courses and competition become more challenging. Also, I love the games that are a part of CPE, most of which are NOT available under AKC. Finally, my experience with CPE competitors is that they cheer for one another and are very open to helping the newbie become involved. CPE trials are just plain FUN.

NONE of this would have been possible had we not been introduced to Agility and positive training methods at I Said Sit. Likewise, I’ve been delighted by the progress and growth both Blackie and Biscuit have made and the confidence they have developed due to participating in performance sports like Agility and Nose Work. It has made a HUGE difference in our lives, both on and off the course.

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