Year 9 student Katie Lines has represented England in canine agility classes with her dogs Kilo and Archie. She is going to a week-long event this summer run by Dogs In Need raising money for re-homing charities and attracting agility competitors from all over the country.
She said: ‘I have been doing dog agility since 2011. I searched online and found Barking Mad at Pytchley where I go to training every week with Kilo, my springer spaniel and Archie, a cocker spaniel. It took Kilo about three weeks to get interested and motivated but Archie picked it up really quickly because he is quite intelligent. It keeps their brains active, keeps them motivated and gives them something to do and they get used to being around other dogs and in different surroundings. Some dogs are more challenging than others. It is about finding the best way to get your dog’s attention. It is also good for developing social skills and teamwork as we do a relay event. At Barking Mad there are beginners, amateur and expert classes and I also train my dogs at home as agility equipment is quite easy to get hold of.
‘I have travelled all over the country for competitions and have won quite a lot of prizes and rosettes. I have represented England in the Open Junior Agility Championships, competing with people from across the world. I am really looking forward to the Dogs In Need event in August. It is being held in Suffolk and there is always lots going on. As well as dog agility competitions there are other activities including assault courses and cycling. I am going with my godparents and there will be a crowd of us as, in addition to Kilo and Archie they are taking their 7 dogs as well!’