Never judge a dog by her size or her genes. Katie, a 10-pound mixed breed senior dog, is the first in her home state of Colorado to win the American Kennel Club grand championship in agility.
The 13-year-old mixed breed stunned at a competition typically known for featuring purebred dogs. The American Kennel Club only began to allow mixed breed dogs to compete a few years ago.
Now, all dogs that are not eligible for AKC Purebred Registration can join the AKC Canine Partners™ Program. Enter Katie, an “underdog,” so to speak. Her handler, Alison Day, credits the scrappy dog’s win to her consistency:
“It is not an easy thing, and she is the first dog in Colorado to do it. I don’t know about odds but I know it takes her being a consistent dog on the agility field.”
Katie received her blue ribbon prize in July of 2021, and the ribbon is even larger than she is. As both a senior dog and a mixed breed, she defied so many of the odds to become champion.
According to the AKC, agility has become a popular sport in the United States, with over 1 million entries to their program every year. That makes Katie’s accomplishments all the more impressive.
It also proves that age ain’t nothin’ but a number, even for an athlete. Old dogs can learn some pretty impressive tricks.
Take a good look, folks; this is what a winner looks like!
How Do Agility Competitions Work?
A standard agility course will have 14 to 20 obstacles. Those obstacles include jumps, ramps, weaving poles, tunnels, see-saws, and more.
In competitions, dogs race against the clock to move through the course as quickly and efficiently as possible. They’re also judged on their ability to work well with their handlers. Dogs compete in different categories according to their sizes, ranging from 8 to 24 inches in height.
You can learn more about the sport and the scoring system on the AKC website.
As you’d expect, this sport requires a lot of training and patience. Certain breeds are more predisposed to excel on the agility course, but any dog can learn these skills.