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Dog lovers show off their pets' skills in dog agility competition

WLUK Green Bay logo WLUK Green Bay 6/27/2020 Monique Lopez, FOX 11 News
a little boy that is standing in the grass © Provided by WLUK Green Bay

HORTONVILLE (WLUK) -- Friday was the first day many dog lovers got a chance to put their training skills to the test since before the coronavirus pandemic.

The contest kicked off in the Fox Valley, with several changes.

Dog lovers took to the agility ring at Dogwood Acres in Hortonville.

“The sport of dog agility is really a great test of teamwork between a human and their dog, and the two of you learn each other very, very well, develop a strong relationship, and your household pet learns to become a canine athlete,” co-owner of K9 Corps Agility and lead instructor at Rock Solid Dogs Jeff Riedl said.

There was jumping, running and coaching but, this time around, there was also guidelines to make sure the event could go off safely, without a hitch.

“All of the people that work in the ring are wearing masks, we’re providing hand sanitizer; extra hand sanitizer for everyone, we’re not having any community-elective surfaces that people touch,” said Riedl.

There was also plenty of social distancing happening and people giving each other a lot of room.

Dog lovers from as far away as Arizona came together to show off what their dogs can do.

“It’s beautiful weather up here, and it’s really hot down there!” Billie Rosen of Phoenix said. “And I have really good friends here.”

Trainers say, dog agility is almost like a dance with your dog.

“Every move you make, the dog responds to, and you try to get it correctly and fast through the course,” Rosen said.

The sport has even created a greater bond for one team.

“He’s been attached a lot to me, but even more so since we’ve been doing this sport,” Kyle Wagner of Neenah said.

Wagner's dog Bravo is a rescue dog.

He says, doing this together has been good for both of them.

“He’s just got a lot of energy that he just burns out,” Wagner said. “For me, it’s been helpful with just some anxiety, just some self-confidence building things and exercises. It’s really helped me through some depressing times.”

Bravo, like several other dogs there, were making their debut in the agility ring. Others, have been doing this for years.

And while competitors from all walks of life were here, one thing they all have in common is love for their pets and owners.

Other competitions will take place over the weekend.

The first is planned for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The other is slated for Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.

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