Agility Stars Headed to South Africa

Eight dog and handler teams from the AKC/USA World Agility Team will be in South Africa this weekend competing at the FCI Agility World Championship.

Hundreds of dogs from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and South Africa will compete for Individual World Championships in the Small, Medium and Large Dog divisions as well as Team Championships in each height.

Here's a closer look at two of the Small Dog team members.

Good luck, guys!



Handler: Jay Kessel

Dog's Registered Name: MACH3 Kessona Too Much Caffeine MXG MJB2 NF

Call Name: Tweek

Breed: American Eskimo Dog

Age: 7 years, 3 months

Hometown: Marlboro, NJ

Favorite and/or Best Agility Obstacle: Tweek's favorite agility obstacle is the seesaw.

Funniest Habit: Tweek likes to go up to strangers at agility trials to be petted.  So they pet him, and if they stop he paws them to keep petting him, so they do, but at some point they realize that Tweek has no intention of leaving.  I usually intervene at that point.

Favorite Win: Getting Tweek into the finals at the 2012 AKC Agility Invitational with four clean preliminary rounds and then also running clean in the finals, just like I did with his mother at the first AKC Agility Invitational in 2006.

Favorite Thing to Do Besides Agility: Tweek is a registered TDI therapy dog and loves to do therapy dog work.

How long have you done Agility?: I started training my first American Eskimo Dog in 1995 and started competing with her in 1996.

Any prior World Championship Experience?: This is our first time.

Ultimate Agility Goal: My ultimate long-term dream goal is to run a dog in each height of the AKC National Agility Championship and win in each height in the same year, and also to win a gold medal at the WAC.  Why not dream big?

Why is WAC important to you?: The WAC is like the Olympics of dog agility.



Handler: Barb Davis

Dog's Registered Name: MACH2 Jahdo Skechers at Strathspey MXS MJS MXF T2B

Call Name: Skecher

Breed: Shetland Sheepdog

Age: 5 years

Hometown: Spokane, WA

Favorite and/or Best Agility Obstacle: Dog Walk

Funniest Habit: Rearranging pillows, bedding etc.

Favorite Win: AKC National Champion in 2013.

Favorite Thing to Do Besides Agility: Chase my border collie Flex while he chases a ball.

How long have you done Agility?: 18 years

Any prior World Championship Experience?: Yes, this is my 8th time representing the USA at the World Championships. 2000 was my first year and I brought two dogs, Aspen and Shimmer. Shimmer is Skecher’s grandfather and was on the World Team the next four years as well. Shimmer’s son Rock-It was on the team in 2006, Rock-It was also a 2006 AKC National Agility Champion and is Skecher’s father. Skecher was on the team in 2011 where he placed 2nd in Individual Jumpers. So it is quite a family affair!

Why is WAC important to you?: The World Championships have the “feel” of an Olympic type competition, with much pride of country shown by both supporters and participants. This year it is definitely a “World” Championships with the location being South Africa. The organizers have worked super hard to make this a great competition for those of us that took on the task of traveling so far! I am very excited to have this once in a lifetime opportunity to see this amazing country and to have the chance to compete at such a high level with my wonderful little Skecher.