From pouncing over poles to tearing through tunnels, dextrous dogs jump in on the arena action at Hartpury!

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Hartpury may be most famous for heroic horses wowing crowds in the arena, but leaping labradors and see-sawing spaniels could now be jumping in on the action!

Students will be able to gain more experience in dog training and have their eyes opened to a major growth area in the animal industry after Hartpury opened a new dog agility arena this week.

They will have the chance to observe and work with dog and owner partnerships using a variety of new equipment, including an A-frame, a dog walk, tunnels, weaves, a see-saw, tyres and jumps.

Students on all College and University Centre animal courses will access new learning opportunities thanks to the new dog agility facilities through lectures and practical sessions in the arena.

Lucy Clarke, who heads up Animal Science degree programmes at Hartpury, said: “I do some dog agility for fun at a local club with my female border collie cross, Tia, and I’ve been able to give a practical demonstration this week to the second year Animal Behaviour and Welfare Foundation and Honours degree groups. They found it really interesting.

“The new facilities will enable them to gain a deeper insight into canine training, fitness, health and safety and the careers available in this area. Several of Hartpury’s animal graduates have gone on to work as dog trainers and it‘s a booming area of the industry. A lot of rescue centres, for example, now use dog agility to improve behaviour and maintain the fitness of rescue dogs.

“The students could also use the dog agility facilities to support their own research and dissertation projects and there will be new commercial opportunities too. We’ve already been contacted by trainers interested in hiring out the equipment and the arena to run classes for their own client groups.”

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