A Test of Teamwork

Practice makes perfect for these top American Kennel Club athletes.

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Spectators at December’s American Kennel Club Agility Invitational and National Obedience Invitational in Long Beach, Calif., saw firsthand a display of the best that dogs can be in partnership with people. Five agility teams and one obedience champion achieved the pinnacle of their sports after two days of tough competition.

Agility trials -- which test physical skill, control, patience, and teamwork -- demonstrate canine athleticism, versatility, and speed. Racing against the clock through an obstacle course of tunnels, weave poles, and jumps, the dog with the fastest and cleanest run wins his division. Each dog’s height determines which of the five divisions he competes in, ranging from 8 inches to 24 inches at the shoulders. For this invitational, the AKC invited the top five agility dogs of each breed.

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