They have claimed New Zealand titles and now Erin Ball, with her dog, Mist, wants to reach new heights at the ANKC Dog Agility Nationals in Perth.
The competition on May 26-31 will showcase Australia's and New Zealand's top agility dogs.
Ball, who lives at Paparangi near Whanganui, will compete Mist as an individual and as a representative of the New Zealand team alongside two other dogs and their trainers.
And she believes Mist has a good chance of taking home some placings.
Ball, now 19, has been competing since she was 6 years old when she lived in Maungaturoto and would travel for an hour once a week to the nearest club to train.
"Mum breeds border collies so I had access to the dogs and, watching Wonder Dogs when I was little, I thought I just really wanted to do that."
Ball has worked with a range of breeds, from neapolitan mastiffs right down to chihuahuas, having instructed a six-week puppy course three times a year at her former club in Mangawhai.
Her love for dogs is obvious and she owns eight border collies, a heading dog and a fox terrier.
Based on her parents' sheep farm near Paparangi, Ball is able to train and exercise her dogs every day.
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Ball was 9 when she got Mist, a border collie, and trained her for agility, flygility and obedience.
She said Mist progressed very fast and gained the highest grades of agility and flygility within two years of competing.
"We've had our big ups and downs, mainly because she was so fast and I didn't really know how to train a dog to that level."
But with some help from other competitors and friends, they started getting in sync in the ring and together progressed to the highest levels.
Ball has been awarded Young Handler of the Year for the 12 years and older category, one for her handling with Mist and again for her handling with her dog, Whisky.
Mist now holds Agility Grand Champion, Jumpers Grand Champion and Flygility Champion titles as well as being the Top Dog in her height category two years in a row at the New Zealand Dog Agility Championship (NZDAC) and winning Overall Top Dog in the highest agility grade at the 2019 NZDAC.
Since Mist, now 10, began competing at 18 months old, she has gained nearly 80 first placings and Ball wants to make her mark overseas.
Ball said the courses in Perth are a little different from those back home with Mist only having to jump 500mm instead of 600mm.
"It will be a lot easier for her and that was one of the things that made my decision to take her to Perth."
After coming such a long way, Ball hopes their hard work will pay off.
"You get what you put in really. You can definitely see when your hard work pays off and it's really cool when it does come together."
Ball is working part-time and studying fulltime to become a vet technician to continue to work with animals and potentially carry on training dogs.
Ball said she would like to thank everyone who had shown their support for her and Mist so far.
She will be based at Whanganui Countdown on Victoria Avenue on Thursday, January 16, from 11am to 6pm to talk with the community about her dream and dog agility in New Zealand.
Ball needs to raise $8000 for her competition. Her Givealittle page can be found at givealittle.co.nz/cause/representing-nz-at-the-austrailian-dog-agility