Fun for dogs and owners alike

The Wakatipu Dog Agility Club. Photo by Christina McDonald.
The Wakatipu Dog Agility Club. Photo by Christina McDonald.

Whether their four-legged friends are big or small, short- or long-haired, dog owners and their pets alike enjoy the mental, social and physical aspects of the Wakatipu Dog Agility Club.

The club was formed four years ago and now, after "a lot of sausage sizzles" and a grant from the Community Trust of Southland, members have a communal shed in which to store their equipment.

Immediate past president and founding member Juli Stickler said the club was "in a really good place" at present, with about 10 members and their dogs congregating at Jardine Park in Kelvin Heights every Saturday morning.

"We were pretty sketchy for a while; now we have a really good core membership."

The shed was important as, previously, equipment had been stored at a member's workplace.

It took two years to raise the money to build the shed. "We have gone from being reliant on one member to being totally independent. It's how a club should be - accessible to everyone."

Although some members travelled out of the district to compete, for others it was an opportunity to exercise their dog and have it socialise with other dogs, while themselves being around like-minded people.

The obstacle course consists of a series of jumps, hoops and tunnels and dog owners must convince their dog to follow their instructions as quickly and accurately as possible.

While it is the dog which jumps through hoops, Mrs Stickler said "you have to be quick on your feet. Otherwise, you can't keep up with your dog."

"It's also nice bonding for the dog and the owner."

For information on the club, visit

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