FARMINGTON -- Dirk, an eight-year-old Shetland Sheepdog, showed his athletic skills as he jumped and wove in and out between poles during the Golden Spike Agility Dog Show.
He was the second dog at the event to show off his skills and earned his 30th championship.
Dirk's owner, Laurie Hope, of South Ogden, is proud of her dog, who enjoys the attention he gets from the onlookers.
"You see breeds here you have never seen before. Every dog can do this, purebreds and shelter dogs," said Hope.
It is not just the dogs that got a workout on the course at the Legacy Center. Their owners run along, pointing to the next jump so the dog goes in the right direction.
Dirk has had health problems which required stem cell treatment, but he still herds sheep and participates in dog shows, not letting his problems get him down.
The Golden Spike Dog Show has been in Northern Utah for 25 years and offers classes for those who would like to train their dogs, said Hope.
"Puppies need to socialize," she said, calling dog shows a great thing to do with your dog. "An active dog is a happy dog."
She stated dogs are pack animals, but they need to learn the rules.
About 150 people and their dogs participated in the show. There were dogs from Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Idaho.
Before dogs can be in the agility show, they must pass obedience rules.
"All dogs need a foundation in obedience. They must be under control at all times," Hope said.
Hope is a past president on the board and is now the secretary. She mentioned the benefits for children who get involved because it teaches them good values and discipline.
Families can go to the shelter to get a puppy, but it must be trained, just like a purebred. She advises people to research dogs before committing to one.
"You need to know what the breed will do," said Hope. If the dog is a mixed breed, the owner must know what each of the mix does. All dogs have a certain amount of talent but not all are good herding dogs."
Some families get together to participate, while others participate as pairs, such as husband and wife teams or mother and daughter teams.
Andrea Waldon moved to Utah for a job nine years ago while her husband kept their business out of state.
"I got kind of bored," she said. So she started competing with Lexie, her border collie. "Competing is addictive. I like training and team work. They (dogs) read your thoughts."
Bridget Hulslander started her dog in obedience training and found that the agility was a lot of fun.
"It is positive training and fun to do with your dog," she said. "Even a bad run builds a relationship with your dog. It is a different relationship than a pet relationship."