Nanaimo teen and her border collie to compete in world championships for dog agility - petsitterbank

Nanaimo teen and her border collie to compete in world championships for dog agility

Nanaimo’s Mackenzie Bailey and her dog, Luna, are preparing to run, jump and conquer obstacles at the World Agility Open Championships this spring in The Netherlands.

Bailey, 15, is one of two members of Canada’s national team competing in the event who are under 18.

She told CBC Radio’s Robyn Burns that the trip to the Dutch town of Ermelo is a welcome change from two years of staying close to home on Vancouver Island.

“I love traveling, I love seeing different places, I like getting off this little island sometimes,” she said.

Training is vigorous for the dog and dog handler, she says, with both of them doing running workouts and Luna jumping over equipment in the backyard.

“I cannot keep up with that dog, I have to go to the gym, I have to workout,” she said.

Mackenzie Bailey,15, is also training other dogs to raise money to take part in international competitions with Luna. (Submitted by Mackenzie Bailey)

Bailey became interested in agility competitions after seeing them on TV as a child. After getting Luna as her first dog, she started training the border collie with a coach when Luna turned one. In addition to jumps geared to the size of the dog, agility events can also include tunnels, teeter-totters and poles the dogs must weave through.

Luna takes it in stride.

“She’s the perfect dog,” Bailey says, quiet and well-behaved.

“Especially considering how much energy border collies have, she’s one with an off switch so I can get her to be up excited, jumping, working and then down, laying down and sleeping and that is the one thing I’m thankful for with that dog.”

Bailey says Luna’s favorite treat is bananas. (Submitted by Mackenzie Bailey)

In addition to practicing with Luna, Bailey is training other people’s puppies to raise money for her trip and also works part-time as a prep cook in the kitchen of Nanaimo restaurant.

She says she has to keep on top of training because she already has another working dog at home, in addition to Luna, and one more on the way.

“So basically if I’m not interested, my house is going to get torn to shreds,” she says.

This year’s championship takes place from May 19-22 after being canceled for two years during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Each country decides which team members to send to the event which will be live streamed on YouTube.

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