We took the little ones to visit the Pensacola Dog Fancier’s Agility Trials today. They were held at the Equestrian Center on Mobile Highway. Since both of our kids are smaller (ages 4, two 2 1/2 year olds), dogs are a little frightening for them. Once they get up the courage to pet the dogs, they are fine, but we thought introducing them to this format for the pups would be a good experience for them.
In the Agility Trials there are two categories, Master (very experienced) and Novice (just starting out). The kids loved watching the dogs of all sizes run through the agility course. They were amazed at the talent of the dogs and how they were stopping and running, jumping over and through hoops. Not that they were actually saying that, you could just see it on their faces! The dogs are very well trained and it is exciting to see them compete.
But, what we found (as we were leaving) that was the most exciting part of the day was getting the kiddos to actually pet some of the pups. A few of the handlers had their dogs walking around and took a few minutes to show them to our kids. They were a little scared at first, but the handlers took their time to show the three littles how to give them a treat and pet them without scaring the animals. One of the dogs, the black on in the pictures below, is actually 13 years old! She used to run the agility trials and compete, but now that she has “retired”, she is a fantastic helper to the veterans with pscyhiatric issues as well as teens with mental disabilities.
But, all in all, if your children are wanting a dog, or you are contemplate getting a dog for them, this is a great way to see some different breeds. This experience also lets the kids see this type of hobby that can be done with their pets and obedience, training and responsibility that comes with owning a dog. But for us, the most important part was actually letting the littles pet the dogs and learn how to NOT be scared.
The Pensacola Dog Fancier’s Agility Trials will still be happening tomorrow from 7 AM – 6 PM at the Escambia County Equestrian Center at 7750 Mobile Highway (in Beulah).