In the final hours of one of the most exciting dog sports weekends of the year, 29 dogs qualified to run in the National Agility Championship Preferred Finals. In preferred competition, the jump heights are one height lower than the dog would ordinarily qualify to compete at. This makes it possible for senior dogs and other dogs with special needs to enjoy the fun of agility competition.
Meet the five dogs who walked away as winners and rewatch all the action.
4-inch Preferred Winner
Four Papillons faced off in the 4-inch class of the 2021 National Agility Championship preferred finals. While none of the runs were clean, Nitro had the fastest time at 42.64 seconds and was named the winner.
Winner: Nitro (AGCH MACH6 Copella Salatino Hi Xplosive RN MXS2 PDS MJG2 PJS MJP MFS TQX T2B5 SWN SHDN RATO CGC TKI)
Handler: Chris Sanks
From: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Time: 42.64 seconds
8-inch Preferred Winner
Three Poodles, a Shetland Sheepdog, and an All-American Dog faced off in the 8-inch category of the preferred finals.
Dreamer the Shetland Sheepdog was the only dog with a clean run, making her the national champion. At 11 years old, Dreamer is a four-time AKC world Team member from 2015-2018.
National Champion: Dreamer (MACH3 Oak Knoll I Have A Dream MXG MJC MXP2 MXPB MJP3 MJPB NF)
Handler: Abigail Beasley
From: Centerville, Ohio
Time: 39.98 seconds
12-inch Preferred Winner
Four Border Collies and a Miniature American Shepherd raced the clock to earn the title of 12-inch preferred national champion. Jive, an 11-year-old Border Collie, won the group with a time of 36.78 seconds, barely passing Border Collie Deja Vu with a time of 36.91.
National Champion: Jive (MACH Brighteye Fancy Feet CD MXS MJB)
Handler: Amanda Edstrom
From: Zumbrota, Minnesota
Time: 36.71 seconds
16-inch Preferred Winner
Graphite the Border Collie won the 16-inch preferred class, reminiscent of his 2017 AKC Agility Invitational win. Competitors included eight Border Collies, two Labrador Retrievers, and a Golden Retriever.
National Champion: Graphite (GCH MACH5 PACH3 Sagehill Spot On MXB2 PDS MJB2 PJS MXPS PDSP MJP7 MJPS PJSP PAX3 MFB TQX MFPB TQXP T2B5 T2BP)
Handler: Paulena Renee Simpson
From: Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Time: 37.53 seconds
20-inch Preferred Winner
Beating out an Irish Setter, Labrador Retriever, and Belgian Tervuren, Strider the All-American Dog took home the win in the 20-inch preferred class. This is Strider’s second time at Nationals and he has been competing for the past six years.
National Champion: Strider (MACH PACH Mack’s Strider MXB MJB MXPB MJPB PAX CA CGC)
Handler: Hayley Mack
From: Hesperia, California
Time: 43.08 seconds