Mrs Clarke and her daughter Niamh delighted the children in assembly in March, sharing the Secrets of their Success in their Agility Dog Training. Willow and Jasmine, their dogs, were the stars of the show, demonstrating their skills while their trainers answered the children’s searching questions. Willow is a beautiful black Labrador, and Jasmine a delightful nine year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who Niamh has owned since she was a pupil in Year 5 at North Lakes School!
The trainers shared the enjoyment that they and the dogs get from competing, and the way that they learn so much from others at events. It is important to take very small steps in training, but always seek to keep improving, to concentrate and never give up. Josh J asked what were their hardest challenges, and Niamh explained that because Jasmine is partially deaf, it is especially hard to train her. In response to Cameron’s question, they recounted some times when the dogs have been injured in training- just like athletes they have to work very hard and do sometimes get hurt, but with a good physio, thankfully they are soon able to recover and get training again.
Following years of hard work, Willow and Jasmine have both appeared at Crufts and the UKA National Finals in recent years. Willow was placed sixth this year at Crufts in an agility competition – a great effort! Thanks very much for joining us, and inspiring the children!