Tag Archive for: agility

Congratulations to YDF Agility Student, Kerfuffle!

Congrats, Kerfuffle!

Congrats, Kerfuffle!

Congratulations to YDF student, Kerfuffle the Cockapoo, on his recent agility titles! In July, Kerfuffle earned his CL1-F (Fun Games, Level 1) title at the CPE (Canine Performance Events) agility trial in Frederick, Maryland. This past weekend, Kerfuffle earned his CL1-S (Standard, Level 1) title at the CPE agility trial in Knoxville, Maryland.

His mom reports that he is getting better and better at each trial (and she aspires to be the best handler she can be for him!). Kerfuffle has attended several classes at Your Dog’s Friend, most recently Canine Good Citizen Prep and Agility.

Upper photo by Key4prints.

Bottom photo by Herefordogs.

Agility Students Earn New Titles: Congrats Whisper & Titania

agilityribbonsYour Dog’s Friend offers many agility classes and while the majority of our students play for fun, we have a few students who have challenged themselves to enter local trials and compete.

Congratulations to Whisper the Border Collie and Titania the Cocker Spaniel, who both earned their CL1-S titles in Canine Performance Events agility this past weekend. (Those are the big white ribbons!) To earn the CL1-S Title, Titania and Whisper each had to earn qualifying scores in the strategy games Jackpot and Snooker. Congrats, girls!

But that’s not all!

Did we mention Whisper is deaf? That’s right, she can’t hear a single command her mom says! Whisper has attending classes at Your Dog’s Friend since Basic 1, where her mom used a keychain flashlight instead of a clicker. She’s living proof that deaf dogs are just as trainable as hearing ones!

And Titania is a fearful dog.  YDF trainer Michelle remembers Titania’s first appearance in Basic Manners 1 two years ago: she spent most of it cowering behind her mom’s legs! Positive training has greatly increased her confidence and when you see her zooming around the agility course, you wouldn’t think she was anything other than a normal, happy dog.

Our Agility Classes

  • Agility Games: Body awareness exercises (“I have back paws too?”), learning jumps, tunnels, and dog walk, basic agility handling skills.
  • Agility 1: For graduates of Agility Games, this class continues to build up the bond between dog and handler while working on short courses.
  • Agility 2: More advanced handling skills, teeter, obstacle discrimination, and longer courses.
  • Agility 3: All of the above, plus crosses, distance handling, and more!

Due to the popularity of our agility classes, you may have to sign up for our waiting list. When a new section of the class opens up, you’ll receive an email letting you know to register.

Titania’s Wildcard Run

A Wildcard course is a numbered course that has three forks in the path. The dog and handler must choose two obstacles labeled “A” and one labeled “B” in order to successfully complete the course.

Whisper’s Snooker Run

Snooker is a strategy game in which dog and handler must collect points the following order: red jump, any obstacle, different red jump, any obstacle, a third red jump, any obstacle. Then the course is done from obstacle 2 through 7, ending at the table.


Whisper & Titania would like to thank their teacher, Michelle, for all her help and support!

Two Inspirational Stories About YDF Students

Although our sports classes are for fun, we do have some students who want to compete. We have always had a lot of Nose Work students (too many to mention) who take that next step, and many have gone on to receive both titles and awards. This weekend seemed particularly special! We had a number of Reactive Dog Class graduates, along with other students, do extremely well in Nose Work trials. One of our Obedience Skills for Competition student teams received their CD title. And, as you will read below, an Agility dog accomplished quite a lot in the Agility ring.  A trainer can only tell you how to get there, but you have to do the work and find joy and love with the dog you have, even when there are issues you never expected. Congratulations to all of you!

We want to highlight two rescue dogs from this weekend’s Nose Work trials and Agility competition that have come a long, long way. Each story shows just how much a great dog parent can accomplish!

"Why are you so excited, Mom?"

“Why are you so excited, Mom?”

Erin Foley and Titania participated in their first CPE Agility trial this weekend and earned a qualifying score in their Colors course run! Titania came into Erin’s life 18 months ago from OBG Cocker Spaniel rescue. Someone had called the shelter, saying that a Cocker Spaniel had been tied to a gazebo for three days. She was horribly matted and infested with fleas. Erin first attended one of our Adopters Workshops, came with Titania to our Basic Manners class, and then on to Advanced Manners, Agility Games, and Agility. When we first met Titania, she hid behind Erin’s legs. She was terrified of all new sights, sounds, movement, and people. For Titania to be able to attend an event with dozens of strangers and to focus and enjoy herself on the Agility course is a huge accomplishment! Thanks to Erin’s commitment, Titania is not that same anxious dog that she was 18 months ago. Check out the cool picture taken by photographer Rich Knecht at the event – Cockers use their ears to fly!

Here is a video of their Colors course run, which earned them a Qualified Score:

Sara Tyler, Marielena McGuire, and Kathy Hayes with their proud instructor, Rachel Binfield

In this weekend’s Nose Work trial, Marielena McGuire and Shadow received The Harry Award, “given to the most outstanding rescue dog that demonstrates extraordinary ability and spirit in nose work”, as well as a Nose Work 1 title. In the summer of 2010, when Shadow was 7 years old, Marielena had already had a reactive dog for five years. At 2, Shadow had started growling at other dogs; if the other dog responded, Shadow would try to attack. Shadow was also sensitive to loud noises (even to shouting at sports events on TV), and thunder would make her shiver and hide. Marielena brought her middle-aged dog first to the Reactive Dog Class and then to Basic Manners 1 & 2, Agility, and Nose Work. When Marielena and Shadow won The Harry Award this weekend, it celebrated not only the team’s Nose Work performance, but also the special relationship between a rescue dog and her person.