Dog enthusiasts braved cold conditions when they took part in the Wanganui Dog Training Club's agility competition on the weekend.

The event was moved to Gonville Domain at the last minute following concerns that dogs were becoming ill after visiting the competition's usual location, Otamatea Reserve.

But all was good at Gonville, plenty of breeds were on show jumping over rails and running through tunnels as fast as they could.

Jennifer Patterson and her daughter Scarlett were visiting from New Plymouth to compete.

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"This is Cooper, he's 5, he's cute and he's super fast," 6-year-old Scarlett said.

"It was fun out there, we come to most trials and I learn new things every day."

It was a good start to the jumpers pairs by Emma Doucette and her dog Hazel. Photo / Bevan Conley
It was a good start to the jumpers pairs by Emma Doucette and her dog Hazel. Photo / Bevan Conley

Perhaps Cooper, the Hungarian vizsla had too much fun, as he was disqualified for doing what is known as a back-jump, when a dog jumps a rail in the wrong direction.

That was bad news for their jumpers pairs event partner Emma Doucette, who had opened the round well with a good performance by her dog Hazel, a Brittany.

Jennifer said that it was important to have a good relationship with your dog if you wanted to be able to compete with it.

"Scarlett has been doing a lot of work, you have to have a relationship with the dog and be connected to it.

"That has been her work, just being the one who is doing the training with Cooper to get the connection going, because the dogs won't just run for anybody."

Jennifer began taking part in agility competitions because it was something new to do.

Cooper lost a bit of motivation halfway through his effort and needed to be spurred on. He would eventually be disqualified. Photo / Bevan Conley
Cooper lost a bit of motivation halfway through his effort and needed to be spurred on. He would eventually be disqualified. Photo / Bevan Conley

"I started doing dog agility just after Scarlett was born, so I've been doing it for over six years and I still feel pretty new to it," she said.

"I was at home with a little baby, it was just a chance to get out, get some fresh air and spend some time with my dog."

Following Cooper's performance, Jennifer was getting ready to have a run with her other dog, Luxton.

"We've got two dogs, my husband hunts with them and I do agility with them so we have to negotiate each weekend.

"In agility competitions, it's a mental challenge, you have to be very focused, it's an opportunity to learn, get better and grow a skill.

"It's an incredibly frustrating sport, because it can be hard to get it right, but when you do it's very satisfying."

A good crowd braved cold winds to watch the various breeds put in their best efforts at Gonville Domain. Photo / Bevan Conley
A good crowd braved cold winds to watch the various breeds put in their best efforts at Gonville Domain. Photo / Bevan Conley