SUPER pooch Skinnt is flying high after qualifying for the prestigious Kennel Club Olympia Agility Stakes finals in London this weekend.
The four-and-a-half-year-old Border Collie is owned by Redditch dog training coach Stuart Doughty and will appear in the large novice dog competition.
Stuart, from Matchborough, has been competing in agility for 15 years but this will be his first time at Olympia, although he has competed at Crufts, but not with Skinnt.
“I am very excited and nervous to be at Olympia – my dog means everything to me,” he said.
It’s no wonder – Stuart fell for Skinnt the moment he clapped eyes on him as an eight-week-old pup.
“There are a lot of breeders out there of good black and white collies,” he said.
“But I like something a bit different and wanted a dog as dark as possible and a boy rather than a girl.
“One breeder knew what I was after and put me on her list and when Skinnt was born I knew he’d just fallen in my lap.”
And that pup hasn’t let Stuart or his wife Becky, also a dog trainer, down.
“His breeder had brought him up well, he’s got a good temperament, he’s talented, has really good skills and is full of energy,” said Stuart.
And while acknowledging it’s his job, Stuart recommends agility training for any breed as a great way to build a special bond between a dog and its owner.
“It’s good for fitness, keeps the dog mentally and physically active and helps build up a real partnership.
“Once you build up that relationship – something a bit more than just going for walks – then that’s very rewarding for both of you,” he said.”
Stuart’s agility classes are held in Evesham. Find out more on Facebook at Stuart Doughty Agility.
Skinnt will be in action at Olympia on Sunday.