Full of fun tricks: Collies Calley, Panda shine in spotlight
Kaitlyn Rohr grew up riding horses and was a Rim Rock Rodeo queen, but the Loma 17-year-old has found a hobby she’s even more passionate about than rodeo.
Now, she spends more time with her dogs training for agility competitions than she does riding her horse.
“I watched an agility drill on TV once and tried it with our corgi mix,” Rohr said. “One day, our friend was bringing border collie puppies and I begged and begged my mom and dad for one, and I got one. So I started working with her.
“I loved her so much, they asked if we wanted another puppy from them.”
Rohr got Calley five years ago and Panda two years ago.
Rohr was so fascinated with dog agility competitions, she started building her own obstacles to train the dogs.
“I got a magazine and started putting things together,” Rohr said. “I used a wheel barrow for a table.”
She worked with the two dogs every day.
“At first, she’d seen it more than I have and it just grew,” her father, Russ Rohr, said. “Now, I love it. It’s a lot of fun.
“She did a lot more with it than I thought. I never thought it would turn into something that serious. I mean, she was checking buckets for weave poles. Our first teeter she used to train Panda with was a roping dummy made out of pipe with a cow head on it. We took a 2 by 12, put some screws in it, laid it across and wired it so it would teeter.”
Panda was scared of the teeter at first, but overcame it in time to qualify for the Dogs on Course in North America (DOCNA) national championships one year ago.
This year, Rohr and Calley took first place in the DOCNA national championships 16-inch (jump height) select division and first in the Western Region a couple of months ago in Prescott Valley, Ariz. Rohr and Panda placed second in nationals and regionals. Calley finished the course in 36.18 seconds (4.39 yards per second) without any faults. Panda did it in 36.85 seconds (4.31) without any faults.
They beat out Australian shepherds, boxers, sheep dogs, golden retrievers and mixed breeds.
A Corgi named Jo Dee, owned by Pamela Wiltgen of Grand Junction, took first place in the 4-inch select division and her other Corgi, Harley, placed first in the 8-inch select division for the second consecutive year. Jo Dee completed the course in 50.44 seconds (3.15 yps) without any faults. Harley did it in 50.01 seconds (3.17 yps) without any faults.
Another Grand Junction woman, Cathy Stampe and her Jack Russell terrier, Rosy Cheeks, took third in the 12-inch competition division. They finished the course in 60.69 seconds (2.61(, but took a time fault penalty.
The event was held in October in two locations, Prescott Valley, Ariz., and Bloomsburg, Pa., on the same course setup. The results were combined to declare one national winner in each level, division and height.
Several breeds of dogs competed in the event from Chihuahuas to Great Danes. The courses include 12 to 21 obstacles. At nationals, time is added when a penalty occurs.
“I think (border collies) pick it up quick,” Kaitlyn Rohr said. “I’m training my new puppy and in like five minutes I taught her how to shake. They are so willing to please.
“I love it so much, it’s my life. I just did a resume for one of my classes (in school) and it was all pretty much agility. I practice every night and sometimes three times a day. I love it; the dogs love it and that makes it easier. I’ve had a lot of help.”