WILLIAMS, Ariz.- This weekend at Cureton Park the fur will fly, literally, when dogs of all shapes and sizes will be jumping, weaving and tunneling their way around obstacles in a race against the clock.
Trial Chairman and trainer Debby Pomeroy, who has been working in training and agility for about eight years, said the North American Dog Agility titling event will be a first in Williams.
Starting around 8 a.m., the Turns 'N' Wraps agility trial features different breeds and mixed breeds tackling a variety of events. There will be dog walks, frames, tunnels, and different categories for novice and elite classes.
"It depends on what level you're running the course, for the elite classes it is around 30 seconds and the novice run the course in the high 50s," Pomeroy said.
The public is free to watch the four-legged action, but is discouraged in bringing their own pets along.
"It's going to be a small trial, but the dogs that are running will be very excited about being out there," Pomeroy said. "These dogs are on edge and ready to run."
Pomeroy has a-six-year-old mini Australian shepherd named Daisy who runs the elite level. She trains with her canine student 30 minutes to an hour a day, and considers the relationship between dog and handler a unique way to experience a team sport.
"It's about you and your dog, it's not about anyone else," Pomeroy said. "That's what makes it so special. When you show your dog, it's ultimately the judge's opinion. In agility, there are no politics. It is how well you've trained your dog and when you become a team it's amazing."
Dog agility is not only rewarding, Pomeroy said, it's accessible to anyone who's interested in getting involved. If you have an energetic, responsive dog with sound physical construction, you may have a future champion on your hands.
"I would ask them to come to my training facility in Chino Valley and we would introduce them to a few obstacles and see what they are interested in and if they are sound enough," Pomeroy said.
For more information, visit Pomeroy's website, www.Turnsnwraps.com or North American Dog Agility at www.nadac.com.