It’s Last Chance Stampede Fair week here in the Capital City. Wednesday morning went to the dogs as area 4-H kids teamed up with their four-legged best friends for a dog agility competition.
A time-based run, the owners and their dogs get points for hitting obstacles like this big tube, or death-defying jumps. If you can’t get your dog to sit and are wondering how they can train one to jump through hoops, well the secret is positive reinforcement.
“A lot of treats and praise is the key to that,” said Elaina Patten with Lewis and Clark County 4-H.
The 4-H Agility Program teaches members skills for dog care, canine anatomy, grooming and helps them explore dog-related careers.
“It's not that hard, you start off with treats and doing like the hoops," 4-H member Mariah Olson told MTN. "Hoop to hoop. Then you start adding other obstacles, putting treats so they learn how to do them.”
Treats and praise sound like a good recipe for success. Especially if you remember the most important part of the competition.
“Have fun, don’t get frustrated," said Olson. "If you get frustrated just let them (the dog) go for a minute. Get one good step and just stop there. Because if he gets frustrated it just goes downhill.”
“Just having fun," added Patten. "It doesn’t matter, the outcome of the competition.”
Fun and your furry friends – not a bad way to start the day.