Scott Gibson has run 75 marathons in his life.
“I’ve fallen more times than I like to admit,” Scott laughs.
Two years ago, Scott had never even heard of Agility. He was convinced to try it out after walking in blindly to his first Barn Hunt trial.
“I’ve always wanted to run a Border Terrier in agility,” a woman at the trial said. after seeing Scott’s dog, Scout.
Scott replied: “What’s Agility?”
After getting in touch with a trainer and enrolling in some beginner agility classes, his instructor told him on the very first day: “I’m going to prepare you to have lots of fun with your dog, and prepare you to compete at the National level.”
Scott admits he was still clueless. “I’m like, ‘what’s the national level?’ I had to go and YouTube what an Agility thing was first to kind of see what it was.”
Now, they’re hooked on the action-packed sport. Dog sports are a whole new kind of cross-training for the marathoner. “They love walks and runs. I’ve taken them every day for four hours they come with me in the morning to work.”
Why the Border Terrier?
Scott grew up with Wire Fox Terriers, but called them a “one-person” dog who found it hard to warm up to other people. A friend in the neighborhood had a Border Terrier, who Scott says seemed to be more easy-going.
“I was thinking about getting a dog for work for using in therapy, and I met a couple of owners,” Scott says. “One January, I got on a list and the woman that had someone fall-through called me up and said ‘I’ve got a dog I think that would be great for you.’ So that’s where we got Scout three years ago, and then we found Pip—she’ll be two next week.”
Now, Scott considers his dogs the perfect ambassadors for the breed.
When he walks Scout and Pip, he is used to hearing “What kind of dog is that? What kind of mix is that?”
“Most people who haven’t seen them they say ‘how cute,'” Scott says. “Pip is obnoxious and will lick people to death, but they both love people. We’ve had a couple of friends get them, so that’s been kind of fun to see that happen.”
Training for Gold
Scout and Pip both have their Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Novice Trick Dog titles. Recently, Scout earned his MACH2. He even qualified for the AKC National Championships Agility Invitational in Orlando this December.
“We go to two classes each week, we have equipment in our backyard we train on, and I try to do something every day to make it fun and rewarding,” Scott says.
He says at times his backyard turns into the neighborhood dog park. “It’s fun,” he says. “I have a dog walk and an A-frame, and a teeter, and tunnels, and jumps…”
Scott admits his small terriers aren’t the fastest, but he goes into Agility competitions with the goal of a clean run — and, of course, fun.
When they aren’t training, Scout and Pip love to play in the backyard
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