Question: What is your dog’s name? How old is he/she? What breed is he/she?
Katie’s answer: My dog, Jeff, is four years old. He’s a golden retriever.
Question: How long have you and your dog been competing in agility?
Katie’s answer: I’ve been doing agility for seven years now.
Question: When/how did you decide you wanted to do agility?
Katie’s answer: My mom has been doing agility for 25 years, so she was into agility since before I was born. She is a founder of the club we’re members of. I was born on a Thursday, and I was in our club’s building on Monday! Agility has always been a part of my life. I really like the diverse people that are part of the agility world. It really allows me to become friends with a wide variety of people.
Question: What’s your favorite part about agility? What’s your least favorite part?
Katie’s answer: I like building a relationship with my dog. He’s very goofy, and I love running him. I just like the together-ness of it! I don’t like that some people get really competitive and serious about something that’s just supposed to be a fun game.
Question: What’s your dog’s favorite part about agility? What’s your dog’s least favorite part?
Katie’s answer: Jeff loves running with me. I’m his favorite person, so he really likes working with me. Sometimes Jeff does not like when we have to repeat something over and over again. He gets frustrated with it occasionally.
Question: Where/when do you train?
Katie’s answer: I train twice a week: once at our WAG Agility building in Spring Grove, and once with our 4-H group.
Question: How do you reward your dog?
Katie’s answer: Jeff gets lots of treats and he also loves to play with his raccoon tail tug toy!
Question: How long have you been part of the AKC EOJ Agility Team USA? How did you get on the team? Has this been a goal for you since you started agility?
Katie’s answer: This is my first year on the team. The application process itself was very quick and easy. About a month after applying, we got a call informing me that Jeff and I had made the team as alternates. It’s a little frustrating to be an alternate on the team because you’re never quite sure if you’re going to the competition or not. We decided we are going to go, but it’s also very difficult to explain to people that I’m an alternate. It’s hard to fundraise because people feel like they don’t want to donate as much because I might not actually be competing.
Question: What are you looking forward to most in terms of competition? Will you be traveling a long distance? Do you have any tips for those traveling with pets?
Katie’s answer: I’m hoping to enter an AKC show the weekend before the EOJ, but I don’t have many details on that right now. The EOJ is in The Netherlands this summer. I’m definitely nervous about the travel aspect of the trip. I know dogs make it to and from Europe safely every day, but there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. The team travel agent is assuring us that everything is arranged properly. This is my first time leaving the country, so I’m very excited! I’m mostly looking forward to the experience with my teammates. I can’t wait to hang out with peers who have the same interest as me.
Question: Do you think agility is a good sport for other young people to be involved in? What do you think agility has taught you and could teach other youth?
Katie’s answer: I think agility is great for young people because it is not as competitive as other sports. It is difficult physically, but it won’t permanently damage your body or anything like some other sports do. It’s a lot of fun because you bond with your dog and it is such a team effort.
Question: Where should people go to learn more about agility and begin training?
Katie’s answer: I would recommend checking out the AKC web page for more information about agility. You can also come check out a trial or even sit and watch a class in order to fully understand what agility is.
1TDC™ is happy to see that Katie and other young individuals are showing such an interest in agility!