Island dogs have earned an array of off-Island honors in agility and obedience trials. Katy Upson and Dundee, a Scottish terrier, and Valerie Becker with Toby, a cairn terrier, completed their Rally novice title at the South Shore Kennel Club Show, Barnstable Fairgrounds, September 18.
Earning legs toward their Rally Advanced title were Karen Ogden and Nolan her Australian shepherd and Susanna Sturgis with Travvy, an Alaskan malamute finished their Rally Advanced title at the Wampanoag Kennel Club trial in Taunton, October 1, then earned the American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen award in Tolland.
Also qualifying at Novice level were Julie Humphreys and Kochi, a golden retriever.
In rally obedience competition, dogs and handlers negotiate a course of 10 to 20 different stations. At Novice level the dogs are on a leash. At Advanced and Excellent levels they are not. Dog and handler are judged on their accuracy and on how they work together.
Eric Bates and his Australian shepherd, Willow, have been competing successfully in agility trials in which handlers direct their dogs over a variety of obstacles such as jumps, tunnels, and A-frames. On Oct. 2, at Wrentham, Eric and Willow earned new titles in Novice Regular, which features different kinds of obstacles, and Novice Weavers where the course is primarily weave poles.
Katy, Valerie, Susanna, Eric and their canine partners are all students of Karen Ogden of Positive Rewards Dog Training, Vineyard Haven.