Video Credit: Tammy Gigstad
In preparation for the European Open Junior (EOJ), which is scheduled to take place this coming July, 1TDC chatted with 17-year-old Team USA member Anna Gigstad about her experience with the team and the sport.
Question: What is your dog’s name? How old is he/she? What breed is he/she?
Anna’s answer: My dog’s name is Cali. She’s 5 years old, and she’s a miniature poodle.
Question: How long have you and your dog been competing in agility?
Anna’s answer: I’ve been doing agility since I was 6 years old.
Question: When did you decide you wanted to do agility?
Anna’s answer: My mom was doing agility before I was born, so I was always attending agility trials with her when I was really little. I just learned from her and ran my mom’s dog at the beginning. Then I got my own dog to run and I began to love it more and more. I like agility because it’s not just you, it’s a team sport with your dog. It’s really rewarding to be bonding with your dog while you’re practicing.
Question: What’s your favorite part about agility? What’s your least favorite part?
Anna’s answer: My favorite part would probably be looking at my dog, Cali, while we’re running and seeing that she’s having a good time. My least favorite part is missing something and knowing that it’s my fault.
Question: What’s your dog’s favorite part about agility? What’s your dog’s least favorite part?
Anna’s answer: Cali’s favorite part is definitely going through tunnels. I also know that she loves the jackpot of treats she gets after running. She knows that they’re waiting for her when we finish a course.
Question: Where/when do you train?
Anna’s answer: I train Cali in my backyard every week.
Question: How long have you been part of the AKC EOJ Agility Team USA? How did you get on the team? Has this been a goal for you since you started agility?
Anna’s answer: This is our second year being on the AKC EOJ Team. To get on the team, we had to send in videos and fill out a form. My goal in agility has always been to have fun with Cali and be as successful as we can. Making the team is a great accomplishment that I’m very proud of!
Question: What are you looking forward to most in terms of competition? Will you be traveling a long distance? Do you have any tips for those traveling with pets?
Anna’s answer: Our next local competition is in Omaha, Nebraska. The trial is at Go Dogs, and I’ve competed there many times before. I am a little bit nervous because it’s been a month or so since Cali and I last competed.
In July I have the EOJ in The Netherlands. Cali comes with me in a carrier on the plane, so I always make sure to bring lots of treats to give her while the plane is taking off or landing. I bring treats everywhere when we’re touring around Europe in case she ever gets nervous. I’m looking forward to competing against really talented juniors and running the fun courses at EOJ. Cali and I visited Amsterdam briefly last year, but this will be our first time competing in that country. I’m a bit nervous, but I’m mostly excited!
Question: Do you give your dog 1TDC? For how long? What differences have you seen it make for your dog?
Anna’s answer: I’ve been using 1TDC pills for about 5 years. I absolutely see that Cali is more energetic in agility when she has 1TDC.
Question: Do you think agility is a good sport for other young people to be involved in? What do you think agility has taught you and could teach other youth?
Anna’s answer: I think this sport is great because it allows me to be competitive and have a lot of fun at the same time. There’s a lot of teamwork involved, so it’s taught me that everything comes with hard work and time. Practice makes perfect. It’s also taught me to be a good sportsman and to cheer on all my fellow competitors.
Question: Where should people go to learn more about agility and begin training?
Anna’s answer: You can go to a local trial and watch it. You can also come to my mom’s beginner agility classes!
1TDC wants to wish Anna good luck during this year’s EOJ in The Netherlands. With her passion and dedication to the sport, she and Cali will surely do great!