HARRISBURG – Herding, racing and jumping canine athletes wowed the crowd on Sunday, Jan. 11, at the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg, during the “Farm to Fun” dog demonstration.
Dogs demonstrated their high-level of skill as trainers guided them through routines in sheep herding, obstacle course racing and hurdle jumping.
Carol Delsman, American Kennel Club senior executive field representative, led the sheep herding portion of the demonstration.
“Many dogs have a ‘bad rap’ based on their breed,” said Delsman. “A lot of dogs can herd, they just have to be given the opportunity to do so. Herding dogs require one primary necessity – a job!”
Several breeds of dog corralled sheep throughout the arena showcasing their skill and ability. From Australian Cattle Dogs to Rotweilers and Border Collies to Welsh Corgies, dogs of all shapes and sizes took on the wooly farm animals.
Since sheep herding is not for all dogs, some unleashed their energy in the agility test as they raced head-to-head against one another. The race was sponsored by DAD’s Dog Food.
The final feat was a head-to-head “Flyball” competition. From a starting line, the dogs jump over a line of hurdles and race to a box that releases a tennis ball when the dog steps on a spring-loaded pad. The dogs catch the ball and sprint back to their handlers.
A special feature of the program included popular Animal Planet celebrity John Misita, tossing dozens of frisbees for his high-flying dogs.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors. The show runs Jan. 10-17 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg. Admission is free and parking is $8.
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For photos of this event and more, click here.