Agility and Ania
Best In Show Daily today demonstrates how working with dogs has its own rewards. The sport of agility has exploded in recent years and is now enjoyed by record numbers of dog-loving competitors. The need for speed and the intuitive partnership between handler and dog create performances that never fail to dazzle spectators, even as they create happy – and healthy – partnerships. Kayla Bertagnolli introduces us to this year’s Best Junior Handler at Westminster, Ania Kelly, and learns how hard work and the support of friends and family carried this young lady all the way to the top!
Editor in Chief
All About Agility
By Angela Sutton and Natasha Gelfand
What is agility? Dog agility is a sport where the handler directs a dog through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. The obstacles include jumps, tunnels, weave poles, dog walks, teeters and A-frames. The dogs run off leash with no food or toys as incentives.
It may come as a surprise when you watch a dog run on an agility course that the dog has never seen that particular course before. The handler is not allowed to touch either the dog or the obstacles, so the handler’s control is limited to voice, movement and various body signals to help the dog understand which way to run and which obstacle to take next. more
If you haven’t heard, the winner of Best Junior Handler at the 2012 Westminster Kennel Club dog show is Ania Kelly. The 16-year-old (yes, so young and inspiring) from Maryland and her English Cocker, ‘Wizard’ or ‘Wiz,’ not only took the great honor of Best Junior Handler this year, but also made history by becoming the first English Cocker to do so at the Garden.
I had the great pleasure of seeing Ania show in both prelims and in the final and, if I do say so myself, she had quite the magic touch. She seemed in tune with her dog and showed like a professional. more