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2017 Top Agility Dogs

Top Agility Dogs - Official 2017 Results

Meet Canada's Top Agility Dogs

This is the second year that ‘McClean’ and Diane have reached the #1 spot in agility. As a spry and seasoned 11-year-old, McClean has thoroughly enjoyed channelling his inner puppy racing around the new Jump and Tunnel courses, recently introduced by the CKC in 2017. Owner Diane says that he is “proof that older dogs can still have fun!”
 
We had a chat with each of the ten TOP DOGS who shed some light on their most memorable victories and quirky anecdotes – here are their interviews:  
 

#1  AgMCh. Marolou Run McClean CGN, AgMXV7, AgMXJV6, XPV, JTV, AgSCV, CD, RE, AgMX2


1-McClean-interview.jpgCall name: “McClean”
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Owner/Handler: Diane Guillotte
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? We started his training at two months of age with games (name games, crate games, retrieves, attention, exercises), in order to have tools that would allow him to have fun with this activity. The games evolved more specifically towards agility as he grew older.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? He experienced such a surprise when he participated in his first Jump and Tunnel class (a new CKC class)! He was having such fun. He was frolicking like a puppy when he finished. It was a reminder of what he was like at his first trials and proof that older dogs can still have fun!
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? As he is an older dog, we have adapted the warmup ritual: a lot of walking, stretching, a dip in the pool to cool off if it is hot, a light massage and then we go and have fun!
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? When he is not playing with me, he loves running with other dogs and playing Frisbee.
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? I still remember the first time I saw people doing agility; there were sparks in both the dogs’ and the handlers’ eyes. I decided then and there that this was the type of relationship I wanted with my dog, and that was only the tip of the iceberg – you can add bonding, love and happiness to the mix. Now, with more experience, the joy of strategizing, meeting wonderfully interesting people and facing new challenges are part of what maintains and increases my passion for this constantly and rapidly evolving discipline.
 
Do you have a mentor? I could name those who influenced us, but I have to admit that my dogs have been my best teachers. I have learned so much by observing them: respect for my teammate, humility, pleasure, perseverance, consistency, perspective and unconditional love.
 

#2  Ch. & AgMCh. Baywood Sask River Mission CGN, IP, CDX, RE, AgMX3, AgMXJ3


2-Mission-interview-1.jpgCall name: “Mission”
Portuguese Water Dog
Owner/Handler: Brenda B. Brown
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? I bred and raised Mission so he's been with me since his birth. He showed great work ethic and promise as a competition dog from a young age and I'm happy that he now passes that down to his offspring. Besides continuing in agility competitions, he is also training for his Utility tile in CKC Obedience and Courier level in PWD Water Trials.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? I recently purchased an old motorhome and I would say travelling all summer with all my dogs to various competitions was a highlight. 
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? I like to make sure Mission is warmed up by doing some light stretching and walking. He also wears a Back On Track mesh blanket as a warmup tool during competitions. Mission is eight years old so I like to ensure I give him every advantage to stay healthy and competitive. 
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? Mission is my best friend and family pet who loves to cuddle. Besides the agility ring, he really loves the show ring and recently finished his CKC Grand Championship and was awarded multiple Best Veteran in Group wins. Mission is also a great dad and continues to sire beautiful, healthy working puppies. 
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? I came to dog agility from riding horses and competing in horse sports. A broken tail bone ended my horse riding career and I was looking for other challenging sports to compete in. 
 
Do you have a mentor? The sport is constantly evolving so you need to be constantly learning. I've been fortunate enough to attend various seminars and classes from fantastic clinicians over the years. From the start I've been a big fan of Canadian clinician Kathy Keats who always builds on the basics. 
 

#3  Ch. & AgMCh. Novacoast Love Conquers All XP, JT, AgSC, RAE


3-Elias-Aussie-Photo-Fabien-Gagnon.jpgCall name: “Elias”
Australian Shepherd
Owner/Handler: Joanne Brassard
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? We have been competing in agility for a little over three years. 
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? This year we really jelled as a team and it is absolutely wonderful!
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? I just make sure that we are focused together before a run.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? Elias loves playing Frisbee.
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? Agility keeps us fit while having fun.
 
Do you have a mantra? We live by the motto: One run at a time and everything will go well!
 

#4  AgMCh. Miron’s Enchanting Siren IP


4-Siren-Lab-jump.jpgCall name: “Siren”
Retriever (Labrador)
Owner/Handler: Robin Robbs

How long have you been training this particular dog? Siren will be five this April. She has been training to be an awesome athlete and great pet since the moment I brought her home. She started competing in agility at 18 months of age.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? I think my most memorable moment last year was when Siren’s breeder, Sylvie Miron, came to watch Siren compete for the very first time. It made me so happy that Sylvie loved watching her and was impressed with her performance.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? Our warmup routine starts with stretches and turns. We move on to a couple of jumps and then we play with her special tug toy before entering the ring.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? Siren, like most Labs, loves to play! She likes running, retrieving, swimming, dock diving and sucking on her Winnie the Pooh bear.
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? I started agility with my first yellow Lab back in 2000. She really loved the sport and as a result so did I! It’s just a great activity to do with your dog.
 
Do you have a mentor? I have no one specific person I would call a mentor. I have learned from different instructors through a variety of workshops and classes, all of which have been very inspiring.

 

#4  GCh. & AgMChS Lochnquay’s Little Drummer Boy CGN, XPS, RA, AgMXS2


4-Drumlin-Toller.jpgCall name: “Drumlin”
Retriever (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling)
Owner/Handler: Veronica D. Evers-Doyle

 How long have you been training this particular dog? Drumlin is six years old. Very basic foundation training started when he came to live with us at eight weeks of age.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? In September, Drumlin was successfully evaluated for the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program. He is now loving his role as a Therapy Dog at our local hospital’s cancer centre and mental health unit.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? I keep him happy with play-based games like tugging, as well as focused on me with a variety of behaviours including get-in, down, wait and hand touches.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? A perfect day for him would be to go for a hike and swim, and then come home and snuggle his humans.
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? The connection with my canine teammate, the ability to play a game outdoors with my dog, and the FUN.
 

#5  Ch. & AgMCh. Blackcomb’s Barking Dawn CGN, MXP, JTX, AgSC, RE


5-Bria-Belgian-Shepherd-1.jpgCall name: “Bria”
Belgian Shepherd Dog
Owners: Theda & Michael Pretsell and Natalie Vivian
Handler: Theda Pretsell
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? I have been training Bria for just over four years. In the beginning, it took over a year of having a fear of the teeter banging to the ground, which we eventually overcame with a lot of help.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? We really don't have just one. Bria makes me smile every time we leave the ring and makes me laugh, especially when I have made a mistake and she barks at me.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? We go for a walk and then we do stretching and, of course, a treat.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? Bria loves to play ball or Frisbee and playing with her BFF Lexie, our Cavalier.
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? Around 20 years ago I wanted to be actively  involved with my Cavaliers so I fell in love with agility. The people were all so friendly and supportive we have never stopped loving the sport.
 
Do you have a mentor? I actually have two: Sandra Esford  for all her help training us and Wendy Beard for on-course coaching and support .
 

#6  AgMCh. The Swirling Tuula Du Josar CGN, XP, MXP, JT, AgSCX, CD, AgMXJ5


6-Tuula-Belgian-1.jpgCall name: “Tuula”
Belgian Shepherd Dog
Owner/Handler: Wendy L. Beard

How long have you been training this particular dog? Seven years.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? Finally earning her CKC Agility Master Championship (AgMCh.).
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? We warm up by doing Figure 8s and stretches, and then rewarding her with her raspberry tug!
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? She's a bit of a couch potato. She just loves to hang out by my side next to the computer while I work.
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? It was a fun social activity.
 

#7  G8rcreek Sunsprite Too Far To Walk IP, JT, AgX, AgXJ


7-Pixel-Poodle-Photo-Lindy-Martin-WEB.jpgCall name: “Pixel”
Poodle (Toy)
Owner/Handler: Leslie A. Cameron
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? Pixel is just two years old. I've been training him since he came home at 12 weeks on my own and in classes. Before that, his breeder had the puppies playing in tunnels, over wobbly boards, and doing other fun baby agility things.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? Pixel had many high moments in 2017 but I think my favourite one was his earning his AAC Agility Trial Championship of Canada (ATChC) at the age of two years and four months.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? I have a chair I keep at ringside. After putting Pixel over the warmup jump, I sit in my chair and have him do spins and twirls and hand touches for treats. I always carry him into the ring and sit him at the startline – he's 6-1/2 pounds of focus. After the run, we race back to the chair and he jumps onto it for lots of treats.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? Pixel really loves to chase squirrels even though he's not much bigger than they are!
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? Twenty years ago, my first agility dog was so intelligent and busy I looked around for a fun activity for us to try. I saw an agility demonstration and immediately signed up for classes. We were hooked!
 
Do you have a mentor? Not really. I take outdoor classes with Pixel, in the summer, but I mostly train my dogs on my own, year round.
 

#8  CSS Flag XP, JT, AgSC, AgMX, AgXJ


8-Flag-Kelpie.jpgCall name: “Paint”
Australian Kelpie
Owners: Tracy Lind & Steve Martin
Handler: Tracy Lind
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? She is almost six years old. I have been shaping her since she was 12 weeks old.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? My memorable moments in 2017 would be when we got a High in Trial in herding and when we tried out for a spot with the world agility team.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? Our warmup ritual is just stretching those muscles out with a jump and other things, and sometimes a good talking to <lol>.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? What she loves the most when not in the ring is working; she is the energizer bunny. And sleeping on the bed when husband is away!
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? What drew me to the sport is the competitive camaraderie and the fun of being a team with your partner… and don't forget exercise.
 
Do you have a mentor? I have had a multitude of mentors in our journey. Too many to count, but they all know who they are. I thank them with all my heart.
 

#9  Auldscotia Destn2shyn Aceilidh XP, AgX, AgXJ


9-Dazzle-Bearded-Collie-Photo-Chipperfield.jpgCall name: “Dazzle”
Bearded Collie
Owner/Handler: Leslie A. Dawson-North
 
How long have you been training this particular dog? Dazzle and I started training about five year ago, when I brought her home at eight weeks. Lots of ground work, chasing toys and tugging. More play, less work.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? There are actually two. One was winning Top 24” Dog at an Agility Fall Cup, which gives us entry to a 2018 National competition and also when Dazzle completed her criteria to be able to attend the 2018 CKC team tryouts.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? We start with some ground work, such as back up, left spin, right spin, little bit heeling, and warmup jumps. I always like to maintain a consistent routine. I keep her Back on Track coat on her before and between runs to keep her muscles warm throughout the day of competition. I also use coconut water for hydration and electrolyte maintenance.
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? She loves to play ball, running with her Holee Roller Ball in her mouth. She also loves to run in the yard, chasing after the birds, and to just snuggle on the couch!
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? I got my start in agility, back in 1991, when I attend my first agility seminar. I definitely got bit by the celestial agility bug and have made it my passion and have not looked back. I was among the first group of Canadian agility judges and have the privileged to have represented the Canada at the FCI World Agility Championships three years in a row with my Bearded Collie “Heather.” I have seen the training and competition of this great sport change dramatically over the years, but my passion has not wavered.
 
Do you have a mentor?. I have learned from watching many great handlers throughout the years as well as staying current with the changes in the sports. The international influence has really had a great impact on the growth of agility throughout North America. I know it has made me a better handler, trainer, teacher and competitor.
 

#10  Loiseau De Feu Phoenix Dujosar NP, XPV, AgX, AgNJ, AgMXV, AgXJV


10-Phoenix-Belgian-Shepherd.jpgCall name: “Phoenix”
Belgian Shepherd Dog
Owner/Handler: Chantal Cyr

How long have you been training this particular dog? I have been training Phoenix since she was a few weeks old and for over 10 years now, and it is always just as much fun to work and play with her today.
 
What was your most memorable moment in 2017? Achieving second place at Quebec’s 2017 AAC Regionals, where her wonderful consistency was showcased.
 
Do you have a warmup ritual before entering the ring? I don’t… but I believe Phoenix does. Her excitement rises as we near the ring while she always remains focused. After her run, Frisbee is her best reward. She is always ready and happy for agility!
 
What does your dog love to do when he is not in the ring? The pool. She is completely crazy about the pool. She knows to wait for my OK to jump in. And once she gets permission, she jumps in, rushes out and waits for my OK to start all over again!
 
What drew you to the sport of agility? I took obedience classes with my first dog, a German Shepherd (over 20 years ago). I was first introduced to agility then and I was amazed at how playing and learning at the same time could be thrilling. I decided to start agility and have never looked back. I have seen the sport grow and continue to love it!
 
Do you have a mentor? I don’t really have a single mentor. I have taken seminars from a variety of people from all over the world as they have come to Canada. Phoenix, just as my previous dogs, Lola and Guess Who, have taught me a lot, too.
 
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