Omaha dog to compete in international obstacle course
Jul. 16, 2017
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A 5-year-old miniature American shepherd from Omaha has a shot at global glory in Italy as she trains to be the quickest dog in the nation and perhaps the world.
Pixel, along with her owner and trainer Ami Sheffield, will travel to Italy at the end of the month to join the American Kennel Club team in competing at the European Open, the Omaha World-Herald (http://bit.ly/2teCMbX ) reported.
"It's about as close as our sport gets to the Olympics," said Ann Braue, coach of Team USA.
Dog agility competitions measure how fast a dog can complete an obstacle course. Trainers are given a course map with a few minutes to prepare, and dogs must complete the course in the correct order without error, otherwise they'll face a time penalty or elimination.
Pixel is competing in the 12-inch jump class and is Team USA's only representative from Nebraska.
"She came hardwired with the retrieve, with the speed, with the intelligence," Sheffield said. "She is a one-in-a-million dog. I will never have another one as amazing as she is."
Sheffield and Pixel flew to Pennsylvania earlier this summer to train with Team USA teammates, but most of the dog's training happens in their west Omaha backyard.
"With a seasoned dog who knows their stuff, maybe once a week is all you need," Sheffield said. "The rest is conditioning."
The European Open begins July 27 in northern Italy, qualification the two following days and finals July 30.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com