Dog agility has mental health benefits for handler, dog owner says

photo: Morningstar's Clever K9s Facebook Page
photo: Morningstar's Clever K9s Facebook Page

Ridgeland, SC (WSAV) – Your veterinarian probably tells you the importance of your dog getting good exercise. But a Lowcountry woman found enrolling her pooch in agility training benefited her own mental health.

After some health issues, Sandy Koepke noticed signs of memory loss and was having a harder time multi-tasking. She enjoys spending time with her dog so decided they’d both give dog agility training a try. Koepke expected her dog to get good exercise and the two to get a stronger bond. What she didn’t anticipate was a noticeable difference in her thinking skills.

“You have to multitask out here. And as we age we tend to slow down in those processes and I find that memorizing courses and being logical and now that I’m running and doing the shuffle – I’m doing better because I wasn’t good at multitasking,” Koepke stated.

That’s one of the many benefits dog-handlers are getting as they guide their pets through tunnels and over barriers out at the Ridgeland training course owned and operated by Windi Williams-Weaver. Williams-Weaver is in her 17th year of dog agility work and still believes anybody and any dog can do it.

“Any breed of dog. Of course some are faster than others and some more physically put together better- but anybody can do it with any type of dog,” she said.

To find out more about dog agility training in Ridgeland, go to http://www.morningstarscleverk9s.com

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