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Illinois resident Cathy Mitchell rescued Millie eight years ago from a humane society when the dog was just an 8-week-old puppy.

The German Shepherd mix started competing in agility at age 4 years, jumping in the 24-inch height division. Then she suffered a rear leg injury and was sidelined from competition for nearly a year.

So Cathy decided it would be best if Millie came back into agility trials in the Preferred class and jumped 20-inches.

The  Regular division jump height for dogs is determined by their height at the top of the shoulders, knows as withers in dogs:

  • 8 Inches: For dogs 11 inches and under at the withers.
  • 12 Inches: For dogs 14 inches and under at the withers.
  • 16 Inches: For dogs 18 inches and under at the withers.
  • 20 Inches: For dogs 22 inches and under at the withers.
  • 24 Inches: For dogs over 22 inches at the withers.
  • 26 Inches: Optional class – Dogs may be entered at this height at their owner’s discretion.

But owners can opt to instead enter their dogs in the Preferred division, which allows dogs to jump one height lower than their regular jump height division. It also gives them five extra seconds to complete the course. The program is great for seniors or dogs that have suffered injuries, like Millie.

Millie has done a great job in the new division and earned her Preferred Agility Championship (PACH) on March 8, 2015, at Gateway Agility Club’s trial at Purina Farms in St. Louis, MO. Her formal name is now PACH Bryan’s Special Millie MX AXJ MXP6 MXPS MJP6 MJPS PAX2 NF OFP CGC.

Millie competes in AKC Agility through the AKC Canine Partners program for all dogs, including mixed-breeds and rescues.