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2021 Top Agility Dogs

Full Results PDF

Agility athletes speed around an intricate course, over or through various obstacles, including jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and teeter-totters. The team to complete the course the quickest and cleanest wins. Agility is as much a physical as a mental workout for both owner and handler.

Agility is open to all breeds, including mixed-breed dogs. Dogs compete in groups according to size, jump heights, and speed requirements set for each size range.

CKC’s 2021 Top Agility Dogs list represents the fastest, boldest, and brightest of competitors. Highway, a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is no stranger to the Top Dogs list, and she comes from a great Agility home as his owner Diane Guillotte has two dogs in the Top Ten.
 
2021 Top 10 Agility Dogs list is interesting for a few reasons. 1. All the dogs come from either Alberta or Quebec. 2. Two owners each have two dogs in the Top 10 (Diane Guillotte and Michelle Whistlecraft) and 3. 4 of the Top 10 Agility Dogs are Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers. 4. There are two ties in this year’s list. After the tie for number 7, we skip to number 9.
 
We caught up with Canada’s Top Agility Dogs to see how their journey to Top Dogs started, how they’ve dealt with another challenging year, and what’s next for these canine superstars.
There are two ties in this year’s list. After the tie for number 7, we skip to number 9. 

 

#1 – AGMCh7 Marolou Highway JTX2 AGSC CGN XP​ 


Call name: Highway
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Owner/Handler: Diane Guillotte
Breeder: Louise Beakes Dubreuil

How and when did you get involved in Agility? At a summer fest, many years ago, (so long ago that I can’t remember what year), I saw an agility demo and, from that moment, my life changed.

How did Highway enter your life? Highway is my third Wheaten (they all come from Marolou kennel). My other two Wheatens were getting older, and I had to slow down training and trialing, so I asked my breeder to let me know when she would have a puppy that would fit our wishes.

Did Highway show star potential right away? Yes! Definitely. She was very active, curious, and bold.

Why did you choose a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier? I was looking for a breed that would fit my lifestyle. A breed I could have fun with playing agility.

What makes a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier an ideal choice for Agility? Choosing a breed that fits your lifestyle (again) is a must. When you choose the right breed, there is a better balance between the dog and the human, they are happy together; everything is easier, at home and in the ring. I would tell people to go watch a trial, talk to the handlers, the breeders; they can help you narrow the choices according to your goals, your hopes, and your expectations. They can affirm or dispel your choices.

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Highway? When she got her 7th championship (she obtained her 6th and 7th championship the same year).

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? Going back to trialling after the confinement. Highway love competing on the weekend, and it was tough for her to have so few trials in 2020. So, when we started again, in 2021, she was in party mode, she was there to enjoy herself, a frame of mind not always compatible with some courses. But, after all, we were there to have fun!

What’s next for Highway? We are working on precision, getting more speed on some obstacles, and on consistency. And, what’s more important, we keep having fun!
 

#2 – AGMChV AGMChS GCh. Wathaman's Youottab N Pictures RM CGN AGSCS MXPS CDX JTXS


Call name:  Emmy
Rottweiler
Owner/Handler: Michelle Whistlecraft
Breeders: Heather Smith & Erin Smith
 
How and when did you get involved in Agility? I have been involved in trialling my dogs in CKC Agility for 15 years.  When I started in CKC agility it was a “retirement” sport for my primary obedience dog and I have enjoyed the sport ever since.
 
How did Emmy enter your life?  Emmy is from Wathaman Rottweilers; whom all my Rottweilers have come from.
 
Did they show star potential right away? Emmy showed a flair for agility from the start as she has always loved to run – especially in extension!
 
Why did you choose a Rottweiler? I have owned Rottweilers for over 25 years, they are a wonderfully loyal breed that is always willing to work and try new things.
 
What makes a Rottweiler an ideal choice for Agility? I must admit, Rottweilers are not really an ideal breed for Agility.  It’s a bit like running a semi – they have lots of power but don’t bend/turn very well!
 
What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Emmy? Our most memorable trial was at the Rocky Mountain Working Herding Club of Alberta trials in July 2021 when we earned our Agility Championship (Select).
 
What challenges did you face competing in 2021? Like all exhibitors, finding CKC trials to compete in was the biggest challenge.  Thankfully, some clubs were able to persevere and managed to still hold events during these challenging times. 
 
What’s next for Emmy? Even though she finished her second CKC Agility Championship (from the Veterans classes) early in 2022 we will likely still compete a bit this year since she enjoys the sport so much.

(Photo credit: Chipperfield Photography)
 

#3 – AGMChV AGMChS Majesty Thirds A Charm XP AGSC JTX


Call name: Jake
Golden Retriever
Owner/Handler: Kirk Peterman
Breeder: Anik Primeau
 
How and when did you get involved in Agility? We were introduced to Agility while taking Obedience Classes at McCann Dog Trainers in Flamborough, Ontario. Kayl McCann and her team ignited our Agility passion. Since we’ve moved to Calgary, Alberta our coach Leslie Dawson North-Just 4 Dogs K9 Sports and Services has stoked that passion and helped shape our team. Coach Leslie has been an awesome mentor for our agility squad.

How did Jake enter your life? Jake entered our life when he was 8 weeks old right before Christmas 2013, he was a special present from Santa.

Did they show star potential right away? No, we’ve worked extremely hard especially Jake to get to where we are now. He’s been an amazing teammate.

Why did you choose a Golden Retriever? I’ve always loved the breed; Goldens have a perfect temperament. Jake was our 3rd Golden from Majesty Goldens – Anik Primeau, they all have had great personalities have been fun-loving and great partners.

What makes a Golden Retriever an ideal choice for Agility? Golden Retrievers are great for Agility because they are fun to work with. They always seem to have a smile when they train. They pick up the sequences very quickly, they are beautiful jumpers and are very technically sound.

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Jake? Our most memorable trial experience of 2021 spanned over 3 trials where Jake had 26 consecutive successful qualification runs. He was in the zone and went on a major heater.

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? We faced the same challenge as everyone; COVID made it a challenge to compete and train, but it was great to get back to some normalcy.

What’s next for Jake? To have a successful and fun 2022 Agility season. Jake continues to be a tremendous mentor for his 2 teammates on our Agility squad: Gunny Highway, another Golden Retriever and Grizzly Adams, a Shetland Sheepdog.
 

#4 – GAGMChV Ch. Novacoast Love Conquers All AGMXV2 AGMX3, AGMXJ3 MXPS CGN AGSCX JTX RAE


Call Name: Elias
Australian Shepherd
Breeders: Angela Slauenwhite & Collin Veinot
Owners: J. Brassard, G. Brault, A. Slauenwhite and C. Veinot
Handler: JoAnne Brassard

Interview with Joanne Brassard

How and when did you get involved in Agility? I’ve been competing in Agility for over 10 years.

How did Elias come into your life? He was a gift from my husband for our wedding anniversary. We already owned a dog from the breeder; I was taken with Elias almost from day 1, watching him grow through the breeder’s posts of the litter. But he was already sold and was to go to the US. At the last minute, the new owners were unable to take him, and he arrived by plane on our anniversary date. Clearly, the stars aligned to bring him into my life (and clearly, my husband knows how to make me very happy!)

Did he show star potential right away? He was a pleasure to train from day one; he’s a quick learner and really wants to please me.

Why did you choose an Australian Shepherd? I love their conformation, their desire to work and their versatility.

What makes an Australian Shepherd an ideal choice for Agility? There are many breeds of dogs that are excellent Agility dogs. The important thing is that the dog is perfect for you!

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Elias? September 18, 2021, in Durham, Ontario, where he earned the final Standard Q to achieve his Grand Championship title. With so few trials in 2021 due to the pandemic, I didn’t believe that it would be possible to achieve the title in 2021, but Elias was so consistent at every trial we entered, our lofty goal became a reality. I’m so proud of my boy!

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? I think Agility competitors were all faced with the same challenges: very few trials and a wide range of Covid restrictions. Enjoying activities with our dogs was a highlight in our lives.

What’s next for Elias? Now that he’s 10, we’re thinking of doing Rally again and possibly starting Scent Detection. We will continue Agility, but the emphasis will shift from achieving competitive goals to enjoying a sport we both love.
 

#5 – Marolou Motion JTXS IPS AGXJS AGXS CGN 


Call name: Motion
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Owner/Handler: Diane Guillotte
Breeder: Louise Beakes Dubreuil
 
How did Motion enter your life? I prefer to live with two dogs, so when Highway became my only dog, we were ready for Motion, (my breeder had been aware for the last two years that I wanted a fourth Wheaten).

Did Motion show star potential right away? She had great qualities, she had energy, and she was active, curious, and bold.

What are Motion’s favourite obstacles? Motion is a terrier, she loves tunnels and, for her, going through the weave poles is like dancing.

What motivates Motion? Have fun, play, and have fun! So, my challenge is to make everything fun for her.

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Motion? With Motion, every trial is memorable. She is young, does not have much experience, and our team is at its beginning. She loves puppies and she always spots them. Going to play with a puppy is what she wants most. One day, we are getting ready to enter the ring and a lady walks by with a puppy on a leash… between playing with the pup and playing with me, that was a hard choice, but she chose to play with me. I don’t remember if we qualified but I am sure our hearts and mind were in perfect harmony!

Does Motion have any warm-up rituals? Before each run, we have a fast, energetic walk, play a bit, and go over a few jumps. After each run, a walk, a short play session and treats.

What does Motion like to do when not practicing or competing in Agility? We live on a farm, in a wooded area, so there are a lot of critters and interesting smells, everywhere, all the time, and that keeps her busy. She really lives the Wheaten’ life.

What’s next for Motion? Improve her confidence and her speed. Get her first championship and, above 
 

#6 – GCh. Wathamans Dare2demand Applause RM CD AGXJS AGXS CGN JTXS IPS


Call name: Brava      
Rottweiler
Owner/Handler: Michelle Whistlecraft
Breeder: Heather Smith

How did Brava enter your life?  Brava is actually the daughter of Emmy (the #2 CKC Agility Dog for 2021).
 
Did they show star potential right away? As a puppy, it was obvious Brava loved the sport of Agility.
 
What are Brava’s favourite obstacles? Tunnels, Tunnels, and more Tunnels!
 
What motivates Brava? Brava loves to run and play tug, but any type of treat at the end of a clean run is the best reward for her.
 
What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Brava? The Rocky Mountain Working Herding Club of Alberta trials in July 2021 was memorable because the trial photographer captured an amazing photo of Brava going over the A-frame – definitely not the best way to perform the obstacle but she still made her contact!
 
Does Brava have any warmup rituals? We don’t have a set ritual, but we do play some spin/twist games and she loves to speak just before we set up at the start line.
 
What does Brava like to do when not practicing or competing in Agility? She likes to train in other sports (Obedience, Drafting), but her favourite pastime is chasing gophers.
 
What’s next for Brava? Brava only started her CKC agility career in 2021, so we hope to progress over the next few years and earn her Agility championship.

(Photo credit: Chipperfield Photography)
 

#7 – AGMCh. AGMChS Marolou Cours Izzy Cours AGMXV XPS JTX CGN


Call name: Izzy
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Owner/Handler: Sylvie Marchand
Breeder: Louise Beakes Dubreuil
 
How and when did you get involved in Agility? I discovered Agility when I went to see friends competing at a trial after which I thought I should take classes with my first Wheaten.

How did Izzy enter your life? I waited until my first dog was a bit older before getting a second dog. When the time came, our family was happy to welcome Izzy, then an 8-week-old puppy.

Did Izzy show star potential right away? When she was young, we could tell she had what is needed to learn, but we had to work really hard. Nothing is easy with Izzy; that is why she is so endearing.

Why did you choose a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier? I did not know the breed and a friend recommended it to me. When I saw them, I liked the colour, the square muzzle, the nice ear carriage… simply said, I liked everything about the breed, so much that I’ve now got a third Wheaten.

What makes a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier an ideal choice for Agility? The Wheaten has a strong desire to please his human companion. All you need is a good connection.

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Izzy? In 2021, every trial was memorable because of the pandemic. I just felt lucky to be able to do this activity with my dog.

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? Too many very hot days. Hot and humid weather is hard for Izzy as well as the other dogs and for the handlers.

What’s next for Izzy? In 2022, we will keep competing. Izzy, now 10 years old, still enjoys running Agility courses. She will also have another job, that of helping her little brother when he starts trialling.
 

#7 – AGMChS Ch. Tofini Bold Bloom ATD NPS NS JTXS RE CGN


Call name: Blossom
Pomeranian
Breeders: Fotina Karavas and Christine Hansen
Owner: Fotina Karavas
Handler: Christopher Collom

Interview with Fotina Karavas

How and when did you get involved in
Agility? 
We, my husband, and I, became involved with Agility training our first Pomeranian just over 10 years ago. We thought it would be a fun way to spend time with and we ended up starting competing.

How did Blossom enter your life?  Blossom was born in our first litter of Pomeranians which had been bred for performance potential.

Did they show star potential right away? Blossom was always very focused and biddable. We started out showing conformation and competing in Rally. To be honest we never thought she would have this much potential as an Agility dog because of her size; she is only 4.5 pounds!

Why did you choose a Pomeranian? We liked the lively and attentive nature of Pomeranians. Initially, I had more interest in Obedience and trick training than Agility. 

What makes a Pomeranian an ideal choice for Agility? Pomeranians are not really the first toy breed one thinks of for Agility. However, they are really smart and easy to train little dogs and being very food motivated does help when it comes to teaching skills. I see more people running Pomeranians as their Agility dog outside of Canada than within Canada but am hoping to see more of them at Agility competitions in the future. 

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Blossom? A big highlight of 2021 was Blossom achieving her Agility Master Excellent Jumpers with weaves title at the Fort Saskatchewan and Area trial in November 2021. 

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? So many Covid-related challenges in 2020 and 2021. Shutdowns impacted access to training and trials and there were fewer trial opportunities available in 2021. Once we were able to compete again handler and dog were out of shape and out of practice. 

What’s next for Blossom? The main goal for Blossom for 2022 was to complete her Agility Championship which we were able to do in January of this year. For the rest of the year, we are looking forward to competing at the Alberta Kennel Club Summer Show which is where this year’s Pomeranian Club of Canada National Specialty Show will occur and for the AAC AB/NWT Regionals with the goal of qualifying for Nationals.

(Photo credit: Chipperfield-Photography)
 

#9 – AGMCh. Ch. Eiregobrach's Surfer Girl AGMXJ2 MXPV JTX AGSC


Call name: Willow
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Breeder: Darla Dickson
Owners: Darla Dickson and Kevin Jorgensen
Handler: Kevin Jorgensen
 
Interview with Darla Dickson and Kevin Jorgensen.
 
How and when did you get involved in Agility? We became involved in Agility fourteen years ago with our first Wheaten, CH. Crumpland’s Captain Jake CGN AGNV AGIJV who is now fifteen years old.  Darla began Agility with “Jake” and then Kevin took over handling as Darla became more active with breeding and Conformation.   
 
How did Willow enter your life?  Willow was our pick puppy by CH. Keepsake Aili Cat and GCHEX Keepsake Surfin USA CGN (USA).
 
Did Willow show star potential right away? Willow was a natural, demonstrating drive, determination, the ability to focus and eagerness to please. 
 
Why did you choose a Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier? We love the breed for their good temperament. Wheatens are spirited, game, affectionate and loyal. 
 
What makes a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier an ideal choice for Agility? The Wheaten is a hardy well balanced, well-coordinated sporting Terrier.
 
What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Willow? When Willow achieved her Agility Championship at the Rocky Mountain Working Herding Club Trial in 2021. 
 
What challenges did you face competing in 2021? The ever-changing directives and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
What’s next for Willow? Now at age nine, Willow will enjoy many more Agility Trials as a Veteran and will serve as a mentor for our new addition, CH. Tyrone It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere,“Jackson”. 

(Photo credit: Chipperfield Photography)
 

#10 – AGMChV Auldscotia Destn2shyn Aceilidh AGMXJ3 AGMX2 MXP AGSC


Call name: Dazzle
Bearded Collie
Owner/Handler: Leslie Dawson-North
Breeder: Lisa Danchuk
 
How and when did you get involved in Agility? I got my start in Agility in 1991 when I got my first Bearded Collie.

How did Dazzle enter your life? Dazzle came into my life in March 2013, bringing her home from Ontario at 8 weeks old. We have grown to become quite a team over the years. Time sure flies!

Did they show star potential right away? Dazzle was “Destn2shyn” right from the get-go and that’s why I picked her name.

Why did you choose the Bearded Collie? I was introduced to the Bearded Collie during my College years, when I saw a picture of the breed, I knew nothing about them, but fell instantly in love and even more so once I learn about their outgoing bouncy animated personality.

What makes a Bearded Collie an ideal choice for Agility? The Bearded Collie is not just beauty, but also intelligence.  They love to play and are up for anything, especially with their person.  Using more play and less work when training, they will excel in anything.

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Dazzle? My most memorable trial in 2021, was the AB/NWT Regional Championships, where Dazzle and I placed 1st on the podium in the 20” Regular Division.  This is a highly competitive division, dominated mostly by Border Collies, but I was so thrilled to stand on the Top Podium with my Bearded Collie. This was a real accomplishment for us and I was so proud of Dazzle.

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? I think, like everyone, Covid had a big role playing in our mindset as well as the ability to train, not to mention the lack of available trails to enter. Fortunately, I have my own training facility, so I made good use of my downtime, but it was great to be able to get back to some competition and re-focus.  

What’s next for Dazzle? Dazzle will continue to train and compete, but now as a Veteran Dog. She turned 9 years old on January 5th, 2022, but she still loves the game.  We will continue to support CKC Agility as well as competing at this year’s 2022 AB/NWT Regional Championships in the 16”Veteran class.  If she qualifies, we will look toward the National Championships.
 

#10 – AGMCh2 Vega Topflite Born To Entertain You AGSCX JT XP


Call name: Frankie 
Papillon 
Owner/Handler: Gail Kamitomo 
Breeders: Vicki Olson & Sandra Schumaker
 
How and when did you get involved in Agility? I started dog agility over 15 years ago as something fun to do with my Schipperke. 

How did Frankie enter your life?  When I decided I wanted a Papillon I was given the name of a breeder by a friend who had a dog from that breeder. I went to visit her, and she thought I would be a good fit for one of her puppies.

Did they show star potential right away? Yes, he did. He was a quick learner and always tried to please!

Why did you choose a Papillon? I had had a couple of Schipperkes that I trained successfully, but I was interested in trying a different dog breed, one that I thought might be more competitive in the sport.

What makes a Papillon an ideal choice for Agility? Papillons can have quite a bit of drive for a small dog. They tend to like to play games and engage with you, which is important for the sport.

What was your most memorable trial of 2021 with Frankie? I can’t think of any… there were so few trials!

What challenges did you face competing in 2021? The main challenge was that there were so few trials to enter because of Covid.

What’s next for Frankie? I hope Frankie will continue to play and enjoy the sport for many more years. We have been very fortunate to have been chosen to represent Canada on 6 World Teams, before the pandemic. His time competing internationally is over, but hopefully, he will stay healthy and sound, so that he can remain competitive locally and nationally.


 

(Photo credit: Shelly Kurtz)
 

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