Samantha Fortney, 14, of Lodi and her 6-year-old Jack Russell Terrier Mr. Biggs on Thursday night during the dog agility show at the Medina County Fair. NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE
MEDINA — After patiently waiting their turn under the fluorescent lighting of the Show Arena, 19 dogs and 15 handlers tackled two obstacle courses late into Thursday night.
“It is a wonderful relationship between the owner and the dog, learning about one another, learning about what the dog likes to do, doesn’t like to do, giving them the encouragement to do this,” announcer Danielle Baker said as the 4-H students placed the obstacles around the arena during the 2018 Medina County 4-H Dog Agility.
The object of the showcase is for the handlers to take their dogs through the obstacle course with the fastest time and least number of “faults.”
“If we have a faster time with two faults, a slow time with no faults will win,” agility committee member Donna Canfield said after the event.
Canfield said the goal is for the handlers and canines to be both “fast and safe.”
After a 90-minute delay for the Market and Non-Dairy Breed Goat Show to wrap up, the handlers had an opportunity to walk their dogs through the course.
“The dog and the handler are going to both come in and just kind of touch base with some of the obstacles out here to get the dogs back in the mood of running tonight,” Baker said.
The 4-H dog agility features two levels of competition, level 1 being for first year participants and level 2 for dogs with at least two years in the program.
Baker said the first-year dogs compete on a simpler course than the more experienced dogs. Obstacles include the A-Frame, broad jump, weaves, chute, dog walk, bar jump, see-saw tire jump and open tunnel.
Samantha Fortney, 14, of Lodi was participating with her 6-year-old Jack Russell terrier in the more advanced level.
“(Mr. Biggs) is kind of scared of a lot of things,” she said. “When we first started, it was hard to get him to go through the things like the tunnels or the chute that is out there.”
Keegan Linden, 11, of Medina, said he has been participating in 4-H dog agility for the past two years with his 4-year-old Cocker Spaniel.
“(Buddy) does agility, rally and obedience,” Linden said.
Linden said his favorite part of the program is “just having fun going out.”
Contact reporter Nathan Havenner at (330) 721-4050 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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