About Agility

Small but mighty


I have a confession to make: For many years I was a large-dog snob. It's the truth. My rule was that the dog must be a minimum of 40 pounds, or you'd better check the DNA to see if it really was a dog. The pinnacle of my large-dog ownership came in the mid-1980s when I owned two Great Danes, followed by a Wolfhound mix and later a Labrador-Rhodesian Ridgeback cross -- my first agility dog.

Then a funny thing happened. In 1996 I started my dog-training business and soon became captivated by several of my clients' itsy-bitsy dogs. The ones that caught my eye were athletic, energetic and feisty -- the exact characteristics that were creating behavior challenges for their owners. Over the years, I found myself adopting smaller and smaller dogs. Recently I astounded myself by adopting a client's miniature Rat Terrier when they made the difficult decision to find her a new home, better suited to her seemingly endless energy. All of 10 pounds, Pretzel is providing me with a firsthand opportunity to learn about the differences in training and handling a small dog. It has been a delightful experience, one that comes as no surprise to Trish Stall of AgileDogs Agility Training in New Lebanon, N.Y.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the July 2007 issue of DOG WORLD today, or subscribe to receive the best dog articles, dog news, and dog information every month!


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