Agility Trials Event Recap

Els Sipkes, from Nuance Pet Photography, was kind enough to share some photos with us from the AKC Agility Trails held this past weekend at Mullet Hall. I love the stories her photographs tell. Looks like it was an exciting day.

In the first two photos, you’ll see something rare in an agility competition. A Boxer. This breed really isn’t built for speed or accuracy. It’s a little bit like racing a Ford Heavy Duty Truck against a Ferrari, but it’s great that he gave it the old college try. In the second picture, he’s decided it’s smarter to go around the jump than over it. The look on the owner’s face is priceless. What good sports!



Now here’s a dog that is clearly a pro. Gracefully clears all the obstacles, no problem.




How great is it to see someone so young competing with their dog?


According to Els, this dog was SUPER fast. She must be a really good photographer to get anything but a blur!



Wee! This is fun!!


This is such a great action shot. Love how the movement of the owner and the dog parallel each other in this photo.



If you’d like to learn more about dog agility, and local agility classes, click HERE. Thank you to Els Sipkes of Nuance Pet Photography for sharing her work with us today. Contact Els if you’d like to order prints or schedule a session with your dog. Would make a great holiday present!


5 responses to “Agility Trials Event Recap

  1. A boxer isn’t built for speed or accuracy? Seriously have you looked at a boxer besides the one at this event? To lead off with that kind of unsubstantiated statement is just bad reporting.

    Boxers are wonderful agility dogs however many will find them more challenging to train for competition than a herding breed because boxers are not herding dogs! They need to be channeled carefully and worked with on their level which many agility trainers are not experienced in.

    If you own a boxer there will be no greater joy than training in agility. Who cares about competing – after all it is all about building that relationship and having fun!

    • Thank you Jennifer for defending the breed.

      This reporter is quite the novice when it comes to agility.
      This response is directed to the author of the agility story that seems to bash Boxers as agility dogs. Here are your words:
      “In the first two photos, you’ll see something rare in an agility competition. A Boxer. This breed really isn’t built for speed or accuracy. It’s a little bit like racing a Ford Heavy Duty Truck against a Ferrari.”

      I am the handler in the photos and my dog’s name is Caleb. Caleb is a very high-spirited, young Boxer that is quite new to agility. Anyone that is involved in agility knows that it takes much training, patience, and time to get a dog ready for competition. This is multiplied at least 10 times when working with a Boxer-particularly a young male Boxer. In all fairness to Caleb, he’s a newbie. Your blog is clearly disrespectful to him (a Ford Heavy Duty Truck?!) You clearly didn’t see him run on Sunday where he had a beautiful run, placing 1st in his jump height and completing the course 12 seconds under standard course time. Of course in your expert opinion, he’s not built for speed or accuracy. Hmmmm… Did you happen to watch his half-sister in the same event? She competes at the Excellent level and will “hold her own” against any of the dogs you highlight as “pros” in your blog. It appears to me that you may have “shot your mouth off” before you did any research into the dogs you were reporting on. There isn’t a “perfect” dog out there when it comes to agility. Each run comes with it’s own challenges. Each dog comes with his own challenges. Each day is not the same. Every dog has a bad day, just as every human has a bad day. Most errors that occur in a run are usually “handler errors.” That is almost always the case when it comes to Caleb and me. So, next time you want to make fun of mistakes the are made in the agility ring, ask the handler what went wrong. You will probably find out that the dog did no wrong. That was the case with Caleb in this particular run in your blog. My reaction( the priceless one) was because I made the mistake, not my Boxer. Next time, please choose your words more wisely. Focus on the enjoyment instead of making fun of the mistakes. Every dog in your piece, except for Caleb, got that respect.

      • As I have said before — I was not bashing this breed or this dog. This was not on official report on agility. Just my personal comments on the funny aspects of these particular photos that a local photographer was kind enough to share with me. If you care to read a REAL ARTICLE from Lowcountry Dog on agiliy, you may purchase archive copies from 2006 and 2007 which contain full articles with thorough research on the subject {and which went by without a single complaint I might add.}

        A few final comments about Caleb. I thought Caleb was quite lovable and adorable. I don’t think built like a “ford heavy duty truck” is an attack and it certainly wasn’t intended that way. It was a creative way to say that this is a solidly built breed vs. something more lithe. In no way was this written to be a disrespectful jab. I guess I just like goofy dogs. My own dogs have been goofy. Great Danes, a anxiety ridden Dalmatian who seemed nerved out all the time, a collie as sweet and loyal as a Lassie herself but not very smart, and mixed breeds, including a boxer mix who was so excitable she would crash through screen doors to get to her favorite people. So when I see a dog being a goof ball – I can’t help but be drawn to it and point how how cute they are. Thus my posting of these two particular photos.

        I believe the everyone has said their piece, and I am tired of defending my comments which were taken WAY too seriously and in a completely wrong way. Numerous comments have not been posted because people felt this was an opportunity to use fowl language and attack me personally. This blog is not the place for that kind of behavior which is in no way excusable. Now that the owner of this dog has responded and I have made my final rebuttal, I am closing comments.

  2. lowcountrydog

    Wow. Wow. Apparently I’ve ticked off the serious Boxer fans in the audience. Please note that this is a blog for a general magazine primarily about family dogs. It’s not a breeder website. It’s not an agility website. It’s a general website about all dogs. If one wants to do significant research on boxers, and their abilities in agility I suggest you go here:

    I’ve been around quite a number of boxers. Most are incredible dogs. I love them in fact. One of my favorite breeds. I did not mean to offend. I am not an agility expert. I have been to a few trials, and have rarely seen Boxers. Those that I have seen are a bit like the guy in the photos above. Having the time of their lives, but not placing well. Not running at top speed, a bit clumsy and missing some of the jumps. But having a great time with their owners, which like you say Jennifer, is the point.

    But perhaps I have just not seen boxers that are truly well trained in agility. I’m sure there are some that do quite well at this sort of thing. One thing is for sure – if there was a dog version of a strong man competition these guys would be serious contenders.

  3. I understand that boxers are not commonly seen in agility & while they can be awesome agility dogs, they certainly don’t have the same crazy speed of a border collie. I will say I’ve seen the slower steadier boxers complete & win on courses that the blazing border collies flamed out on.
    I think as a family magazine that it’s more important to point out that agility is a great sport for ANYBODY to try & compete in and that any dog can learn agility and enjoy it.