If you’re the owner of a senior dog, you might think your dog sports days are behind you. But participating in dog sports with your dog can provide mental and physical exercise, the thrill of competition, and a chance for you both to have fun. With veterinarian approval, there are still many sports you and your dog can participate in. In fact, there are hundreds of senior dogs competing in the 2021 National Agility Championship March 26-28 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
But how old is the oldest dog competing? Meet Louie, a 14.5-year-old Toy Poodle.
Debbie Moore’s Toy Poodle Journey
Louie was born July 25, 2006. That makes him older than some of the Junior Handlers competing in the ring. Owner Debbie Moore’s story goes back even further.
In the ’90s, Debbie was competing in an obedience competition with her Toy Poodle April. That’s when her 10-year-old daughter Courtney got her attention.
“You have to come watch the agility competition.” Courtney told her mom. “I want to do that with our dogs.”
Luckily, Debbie recognized one of the competitors — someone from her Alamo Dog Obedience Club where she had trained. They made plans to meet up the following Sunday at the facility.
Debbie started out with English Springer Spaniels, then Shetland Sheepdogs, then finally she downsized to Toy Poodles. She earned four CDs, three CDXs, and a UD on her Toy Poodle April. April went on to win the 8″ AKC National Agility Championship in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Another of Debbie’s Toy Poodles, Foxy Bear, made it to the finals alongside April.
Debbie’s next group of three Toy Poodles all earned their MACHs and/or PACHS. Her daughter Courtney even ran 13-year-old Raven in the 2016 AKC National Agility Championship, where he won the 4-inch preferred group.
Meet Louie, Age 14.5
Then came Louie. Throughout his entire career, Louie has been the top ranked Poodle on the 4-inch or 8-inch list.
Louie comes from a line of Toy Poodles that have enjoyed Agility well into old age. His mother also ran until she was 14, and lived to be 17.
“Agility has kept Louie active,” Debbie says. “He loves going with the younger dogs to training and mostly trains on weavepoles.”
While Louie has been in many agility competitions in his 14+ years, the 2021 AKC National Agility Championship will be special. This is the last big event of Louie’s career.
Even at nearly 15, Louie still wakes up with his tail high and his eyes bright every morning, bringing Debbie toys to play with him.
“He doesn’t hear well and his eyes are starting to develop cataracts, but the love we share is more important than everything else or any agility title or run. At the end of the trial, I am going home with the best dog.”
There are 54 Poodles competing in Tulsa, including Toy, Miniature, and Standard. They make up nearly five percent of the 1,119 competing dogs. But only one dog is 14.
Louie (AGCH MACH4 PACH2 Oakrun Sun King MXC MJC MXP6 MXPS PADP MJP6 MJPS PJDP PAX2 MXF TQX MFPS TQXP T2B T2BP3) will turn 15 this summer.
Watch full coverage of the 2021 AKC National Agility Championships on AKC.tv and ESPN March 26-28. All rings will be live on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning on AKC.tv. The Challenger round and Preferred finals will also be live on AKC.tv. Stream on any device or download the AKC.TV app on Roku, Apple TV, or AmazonFireTV. Regular finals will move to ESPN. The regular finals can be enjoyed live on the ESPN app and will also be featured on ESPN2 on Wednesday, March 31st at 8 p.m. ET.