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Award-winning trainer gives tips to pet owners

Dynah+Woodman+posing+with+her+three+award-winning+Agility+dogs.+%28Photo+by+Elizabeth+Woodman%29
Dynah Woodman posing with her three award-winning Agility dogs. (Photo by Elizabeth Woodman)

Dynah Woodman posing with her three award-winning Agility dogs. (Photo by Elizabeth Woodman)

Dynah Woodman posing with her three award-winning Agility dogs. (Photo by Elizabeth Woodman)

Mercedes Scarbrough, Staff Writer

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For the past ten years, Dynah Woodman, junior, has been in competing in multiple Agility competitions across the globe. This summer, she will set off to the Netherlands to participate with AKC European Open Junior Team USA. She will be competing with her Dutch Shepherd Osie, against 22 other contestants.

Agility is a dog sport, where a dog is handled through a variety of different obstacle courses. For Dynah, this has been her passion since the age of six.

It can be a difficult task for those just starting off in Agility, especially if an individual does not have the advantage of already trained dog. Dynah says she was lucky to have started off with an experienced dog, but likes the challenge of teaching an untrained dog.

“I expected the dog to do stuff like my last dog did, but every dog takes different types of training. Every time you train a dog, it’s a new experience.”

Throughout her Agility Career she has worked with anywhere from corgi to dutch shepherds. She hopes to work with border collies and terriers.

Handlers first step in training a beginner dog is starting with the simple basics: sit, come, down, and stay. These simple commands for a dog’s puppy years are extremely beneficial in the Agility ring.

Although some are quick to train their dogs to jump, it’s actually important to wait until the puppy is at least 12 months of age. Unlike adult dogs, young dogs do not have the benefit of muscle to cushion the impact of the jump.

Since every dog is unique, it gives the handlers an opportunity to work with a variety of different dog personalities in the ring. “I think every dog is capable, but whether every dog wants to or not is a completely different thing,” says Woodman.

“Stick with it,” comments Dynah. “When you first start, it can be extremely frustrating. The better you get, the better your dogs gets. The more dogs you train, the more experience you have.”

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Award-winning trainer gives tips to pet owners