Friday, February 24 , 2017, 1:16 am | Fair 42º


Local News

Dogs Put Their Best Paws Forward for Weekend Agility-Skills Competition

Santa Maria Kennel Club hosts the all-breeds event, running through Sunday

Dogs are showing off their agility skills this weekend by running, jumping, weaving — and sometimes barking — their way through courses set up at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, 1309 N. Bradley Road.

The Santa Maria Kennel Club is hosting its annual all-breed agility trials through Sunday, according to Dave Swinson, club president. The local event is sanctioned by the American Kennel Club.

Approximately 110 people plus their pooches will compete each day at the event, where a handler guides the off-leash canine through the course by only using voice commands and body signals.

Agility trials provide fun for both the dog and its owners, Swinson said.

“It’s a team event and the people that you see running today have started in novices, which is he beginner, and now they’re in the top level of the AKC agility,” he added.

Action starts in the morning both days, and continues into the afternoon. A raffle drawing is planned with proceeds benefiting the AKC Canine Health Foundation.

Half of the competitors come from the Central Coast, with the rest attracted from throughout the state.

The multiple courses on the lawn at the Elks Lodge include assorted obstacles, including weave poles, tunnels, jumps, A-frame, teeter-totter and more.

“It’s broken up into different height classes. The smallest is four inches and goes up to 26 inches so you don’t have Chihuahuas going up against border collies,” Swinson said.

The local club began hosting an annual all-breed agility trial in 2005.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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