Speedy dogs coming to Peach Fest

The Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club is running demos at the Penticton Peach Festival this year.

Dog agility demonstrations come to the Penticton Peach Festival for the first time.

Dog agility demonstrations come to the Penticton Peach Festival for the first time.

It is one of the fastest-growing dog sports in the world and it is coming to the Penticton Peach Festival for the first time.

The Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club will run a demonstration.  A team of dog and handler, run through numbered courses to perform obstacles within a certain time limit.

“We will have dogs of all abilities and breeds so it will really be quite a lot of fun watching them,” said Lenore Trudel, Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club demo chairperson.  “We will demonstrate what agility is and how we train the dogs, then we will have two identical courses and two dogs at a time will race.  The crowd will be encouraged to cheer for their favourites.  Usually the fastest dogs get the most cheers, but then again you really see the dog’s personalities shine in these events and sometimes the beginner dogs turn out to be the best received.  It is very entertaining because with the beginner dogs you never know what they are going to do.  One year at a demo we had a golden retriever stray off the course straight to a nearby lake.”

Dog agility was born at the 1978 Crufts Dog Show in England, where it was loosely based on equestrian jumping events and since then it has

exploded in popularity all over the world.  Central Okanagan Dog

Agility Club’s mission is to provide training in the sport of dog agility for handlers and their canine partners using positive training methods to build the team.

The club has performed at the Armstrong IPE Fair for eight years, recently held a demo at Westside Daze and host trials several times throughout the year with dogs and their owners from across the valley, who train with them at the Kelowna Dog Sport Centre.

“We have different components to our club from those interested in having fun and playing with their dogs to those who are interested in competing, including one person and their dog that have competed at a world championship,” said Trudel.  “We will have an information booth set up at the Penticton Peach Festival and, if there is time, we invite people after the show to visit with the dogs and their owners.”

The Central Okanagan Dog Agility Club will conduct demos at Okanagan Lake Park as part of the Penticton Peach Festival events – on Aug. 6 at 11:45 a.m. and Aug. 7 at 1:20 p.m. as part of the Kiddies Day events.  For more information on the Penticton Peach Festival visit www.peachfest.com.