Sit down, heel, good owner

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Border collie Mackenzie takes owner Juli Stickler around an obstacle course at Jardine Park last weekend.

Stickler runs the Wakatipu Dog Agility Club – a group of pooch owners who meet each Saturday afternoon in Kelvin Heights to train their pets in a nationally popular sport.

Dog agility involves a hound and its handler negotiating a course, which typically includes jumps, tunnels and balance beams.

“It’s a race against time and if you [and your dog] miss a jump or don’t do an obstacle, you lose points,” Stickler says.

“A lot is obedience-based, getting them listening to instructions and setting the foundations for more complicated handling.”

Stickler started the club in December after relocating with her partner Ryan Irwin from Whakatane, where they belonged to a similar group.

Club members – who already number 30 – use makeshift jumps and tunnels, but they’re trying to raise $8000 to buy proper equipment.

They’re holding a garage sale from 8am-noon this Saturday – at 2 Remarkables Crescent in Frankton – to kickstart the effort.