In November, 2023 I visited an agility trial at Cudahy Kennel Club in St. Francis, Wisconsin. While I was not trialing that day, the trial was on my way home from a Thanksgiving Day visit so I stopped in to check it out. After convincing the club that I was not there to take pictures of their dogs and then use them to sell dogs I might be breeding (no, I’m not a breeder), they allowed me to take pictures and talk to folks about the dogagilitytrials.com website. In all fairness, there were reports of breeders doing that in the area!
A Unique Agility Trial for Novice and Open Dogs
This location is unique in that it offers agility trials for novice and open classes only. The reason they only offer those classes is that the ring and building size is not large enough to hold a trial with Excellent and Master level classes too. The low-key atmosphere makes it seem almost like a practice run-through trial. But a run-through it is NOT. There is a certified AKC judge and all runs count towards the dog’s title.
Something for Other Clubs to Consider
It makes me wonder how many other agility clubs out there with buildings not quite large enough to hold regular trials might consider holding trials for novice and open dogs. There could be many benefits:
- Provides a great opportunity for those new to agility, with younger dogs, or with sensitive dogs to begin agility trialing in a less intense atmosphere.
- The club might make a little money, or hopefully break even.
- It could open up more space for Excellent and Master level dogs in nearby trials, given more novice- and open-level dogs attend the other trial.
Here in Michigan, I’m aware of at least two facilities that might qualify for novice and open dog-only trials. There must be many more in other states. The AKC rules that do not allow trials less than 100 miles away to be run on the same day might or might not be different. I will check into that and update this post when I find out more information on that rule.
Far More than Agility
As for the Cudahy Kennel Club, they offer more than just agility in their building. They offer training classes and/or workshops for agility, obedience, rally, basic manners, conformation, and a puppy kindergarten for the AKC Star Puppy designation.
They also host many other k-9 events besides agility, while not all are held at the club building. They include barn hunt, conformation, fast cat, obedience & rally, scent work, run-throughs, and special testing. Agility run-throughs are held the 3rd Friday of most months, while Obedience run-throughs are held the 2nd Friday of most months. If you’re in the area for vacation or visiting, here’s a great place to get in some practice while away from home!
Overall the club was very welcoming. It is hard work to offer so many classes and events, both in the planning and execution of the events as well as the club politics involved. Kudos to Cudahy Kennel Club for providing so many enrichment activities for dogs and their owners.