Three incredible rings at Crown Sports, Eden, MD

Agility Ring at Crown Center, Eden MD

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It’s hard to imagine the size of Crown Sports in Eden, Maryland until you walk in the door. Even then, it takes a while to get one’s bearings. The front door leads you down an aisle with the agility rings on the left, and restrooms, concessions, offices, an arcade, and another ring on the right. It’s just so big!

Between each agility ring are aisles that take you to the crating side of the building. At least this is how it was set up for the four-day trial I attended September 23-26, 2017. The first 2 days were sponsored by Salisbury Kennel Club, the third day by Potomac Valley Agility Club, and the fourth day was the Golden Retriever Club of America for their National Specialty.


Yellowstone Dog Sports … is this place a dream?


Agility Ring, Yellowstone Dog Sports, Roberts, MT

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The farthest dog agility trial location I’ve traveled to is Yellowstone Dog Sports in Roberts, Montana. The trip was coupled with a vacation, and the trial was suggested by an agility friend and now judge, Bruce Baker. Trialing and camping there was like a dream, with mountains in the backdrop and a fresh water pond with dock diving. There was even stream for the dogs to enjoy, which was narrow enough that was great therapy for a dog walking up stream.


It’s all about that turf, ’bout that turf at Midland

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One of the best things about trialing at TNT in Midland, MI is its turf floor. It has just the right amount of cushioning and is oh-so-flat. As we all know, not all turf floors are created equal. I had the opportunity to chat with Lisa Lundahl, TNT’s owner, at last weekend’s trial held August 11-13, 2017. She filled me in on all the details, and I can see why TNT’s turf so great to run on!


Queen City Rules in Sharonville, Ohio

Agility trials at Queen City Dog Training Club (QCDTC), 12018 Tramway Drive in Sharonville, Ohio definitely rule in the area’s dog agility community. After traveling there for the Cincinnati Shetland Sheepdog Club’s trial on July 15-16, 2017, presided by Judge Gregory Beck from Durham NC, I saw first-hand the numerous jewels in QCDTC’s crown.


IncrediPAWS in Pataskala OH – Another magical place

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Much like TNT in Midland, Michigan, IncrediPAWS at 10465 Columbus Parkway in Pataskala, Ohio is another magical place when it comes to agility. There’s great flooring, superb climate control, top dogs, and awesome attitudes. My dogs and I went bar hopping there July 7-9, 2017 at a trial put on by the Columbus Collie Club, with judge Lynn Morgan from Scranton, Kansas. A rep from AKC was present for most of the trial.


Dogs jumping at Northfield Dog Training, Ann Arbor MI

Agility trial ring at Northfield Dog Training, Ann Arbor MI

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The dogs are jumping again at Northfield Dog Training in Ann Arbor, MI. Formerly an obedience- and rally-only venue, owner Adele Yunck started hosting CPE agility trials just this year. The second trial was held June 30 through July 2, 2017; my dogs and I attended the last day of the trial. It was hosted by Banda Agility Group with judge Kent Bromagen from Ohio calling the shots, err, faults.


Superb Padded Floor at On The Run, Ham Lake MN


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Never would I have believed that a padded floor could be close to turf regarding its positive effects on joints, but as the saying goes, never say never. The agility facility at On The Run Canine Center in Ham Lake MN proved me wrong when my dogs and I experienced running on their Comfort King foam mat floor. Its anti-fatigue and shock resistant properties are the best I’ve experienced on any mat, and I like it better than some turf floors.


CACM St. Cloud MN Agility Trial: Unique location, jumps, club

CACM outdoor agility ring> See more pictures and details about CACM training and trial grounds

The Canine Agility of Central Minnesota club (CACM) surprised me at their outdoor agility trial held at 6305 Glenn Carlson Dr., St. Cloud, MN.on June 17-18, 2017. Expecting to find temporary fencing, typical equipment, and a bumpy running surface, this trial provided quite the opposite.


POTC Agility Trial, Avanti’s Dome, Pekin IL

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There were no cramped quarters to be found at the POTC’s (Peoria Obedience Training Club’s) Agility trial held at Avanti’s Dome in Pekin, Illinois on June 9-11, 2017. The  75,000-square-foot inflatable dome, a 7,100-square-foot reception building, and four outdoor softball/baseball diamonds reside on a 33-acre plot.


TNT Dog Center, Midland, MI

Agility Ring taken from Mezzanine, TNT Dog Center, Midland MI

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TNT Dog Center in Midland, MI is my all-time favorite place to trial, although I have not visited every agility location yet so I’ll keep you posted. There’s magic in the air at that place. TNT’s owner, Lisa Lundahl, had the building specifically built for agility trials, along with spaces for both agility and obedience classes. Later, she added another building in back of the agility building for dock diving and canine water therapy. Although Midland Michigan Kennel club put on this trial, their isn’t much of a difference between other clubs sponsoring trials here, since the same staff usually run the trials. Same staff means familiarity, better organization, and continual improvement.