By Barb King
Dog sports are alive and doing well in Quesnel.
Several years ago, a group of dog enthusiasts were looking for a way to get together and encourage others to play and work with their dogs. This resulted in Fit Pets Dog Sports Association being born.
The club has grown into an active group with an indoor training centre on Anderson Drive. For household pets, the club offers puppy and basic obedience classes, as well as the popular ‘rover-walk’ group walks with a trainer along the river walk. For people interested in dog sports, the club facilitates beginner agility and rally obedience, formal obedience and nosework classes.
Other classes happen on occasion including canine fitness classes, Canine Good Neighbour prep classes and group socialization classes. Socials, workshops, seminars, and work-bees also provide opportunities for members to learn and stay involved. Weekly informal practices allow dogs, and their people, to get out and work in the presence of others.
Of course, the club’s trainers are always happy to mentor and support other dog handlers. The club welcomes all levels of experience, all interests, and all breeds or ,mixed breeds of dogs, in the spirit of celebrating the human-dog relationship and finding ways to keep dogs busy, happy, and healthy. It is also a great place to meet other dog lovers.
The club has come to recognize dog sports as presented by Canine Work and Games (C-WAGS). Some of the directors have become certified as trial judges for C-WAGS Nosework and more recently to judge the organizations Rally Obedience.
This has allowed local dog sports enthusiasts to compete with their dogs without always having to travel out of town, and encourages people who are new at dog sports a chance to compete in a familiar and friendly atmosphere.
C-WAGS, an American organization which has rules and exercises similar to the Canadian Kennel Club and the Canadian Association of Rally Obedience, also allows for competitive leagues where a trial is held over multiple days (often several runs one day a week for four to six weeks). This allows a unique opportunity to trial and title.
C-WAGS Nosework has already become quite popular in Canada. The organization also adds some fun twists to the sport of Rally Obedience by incorporating freestyle, agility, and a lack of stationary exercises (called Rally Zoom) in certain levels. The club is excited to hopefully introduce C-WAGS formal obedience trials in the future.
The forest fires this past summer forced the club to postpone a multi-sport event called Dogapalooza 2017, which featured C-WAGS Nosework, K9 ABC Games, C-WAGS Rally Obedience and Canine Good Neighbour evaluations for the Billy Barker Days weekend. Dogapalooza 2017 was rescheduled for September 2017. It was well attended and was a very fun and rewarding weekend of dog sports. Plans are currently being made for Dogapalooza 2018 to be held this year in Quesnel.
In December 2017, Fit Pets awarded the first ever C-WAGS Rally Obedience titles in Canada to local dogs in Quesnel.
If you are interested in learning more about what Fit Pets has to offer you and your dog, drop by the club at 382 Anderson Drive or check us out on Facebook, or our website: www.fitpets.ca.