Grade 1 language arts classes had an opportunity to see literature in action when a demonstration of agility dog training came to campus. Led by a Harker mom, Tania Chadwick (Carter, grade 1), the visit tied in with students’ reading of “Officer Buckle and Gloria,” the story of a police officer and his faithful dog who are advocates for safe activities. Students heard a short introduction to the sport of dog agility, the importance of responsible dog ownership, the value of dog training and how to be a good citizen of the community with your dog.
Chadwick brought a variety of dogs, including border collies, golden retrievers and Havanese to show that any size and any age of dog can do agility courses. She talked about how the training relationship and teamwork is the crux of any successful agility team. Students then got to watch the Fortis Agility Team demonstrate their prowess on each obstacle before running through an abbreviated obstacle course including few jumps, an open tunnel and weave poles.
Chadwick has been competing in dog agility since 1996 and started Fortis Agility Sports Training, an agility training school, in 2002. She competes with two border collies, her third and fourth dogs involved in the activity. Chadwick has competed at the dog agility world championships for nine years and was a finalist in 2004; her border collie, Kidd, was ranked in the top ten of agility for four years and attained the highest achievement in the United States Dog Agility Association by earning the Platinum Agility Dog Champion title as well as attaining the Platinum Lifetime Achievement Award.