CLASS is in session for a group of four-legged students eve-ry weekend at the Indian As-sociation’s field in Bagan Jermal in Penang.
The field is turned into a trai-ning ground whenever the Pe-nang Dog Agility Association (PAA) holds its dog obedience and agility classes.
It is amazing to watch the canine students jump through hoops, run through tunnels, ba-lance on a seesaw and jump over a hurdle at the obstacle course area.
PAA president Sue Yeap said the dog agility sport was introduced in Britain 20 years ago and it caught on in other countries.
“However, it is still relatively new in Malaysia and we hope to promote the sport here.
“Each year, we hold six dog agility trials. The next one is on this Saturday and Sunday.
“The trials enable dogs to accumulate points towards garnering the championship title which re-quires 20 points,” she said in an in-terview during a training session recently.
The association also conducts obedience classes for dogs which must be accompanied by their owners.
“In the pre-novice stage, dogs are taught basic commands such as ‘stay’ and ‘sit’. When the dogs gather during class, they learn to socialise with other dogs and people,” she explained.
Dogs in the novice stage are able to respond to verbal commands without their leash while those in the intermediate level can retrieve dumbbells and respond to their masters’ calls from a long distance, she said.
Yeap said the highest level in obedience training was the open stage where the animal could be commanded to sit and stay for more than five minutes even in a distracting environment.
“It is important to teach the dog how to stay focused when commands are given.”
The obedience and agility clas-ses open to any dog breed are held on weekends from 4.30pm to 5.30pm.
For dogs adopted from the So-ciety for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), a 50% discount is offered for their training fees.
For more information, call Yeap at 012-4015882 or check out http://www.agility-penang.com.