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Agilitynet Rescue Dog of the Year 2011

Demon's original picture on the Rescue pageLike a lot of people who get hooked on agility, one dog was not enough for Helen Anderson so she began looking around for a second dog. She didnít have a particular breed in mind and began searching the Agilitynet Rescue page to see what dogs were up for rehoming. That's when she found Demon, a six month old Kelpie X, looking for a home that would keep him occupied. And now he is the Agilitynet Rescue Dog of of 2011.

Demon was found as a stray on the streets of London when he was picked up and taken into Battersea Dogs Home. We do not know anything of his past other than he was rescued at approx. four months old. He was rehomed once but returned within a few days as he was too lively for the new owners.

This was when Battersea took a closer look at him and what he was about. It was thought he was a Kelpie X from his looks and the way he went about things. so he was advertised on Agilitynet and thatís when we came across him. I contacted them, and luckily no-one else had enquired about him so we travelled to London to meet him. I instantly knew heíd be coming home with us!

We had to change his original name from Kye, as we already had a dog at home with the same name. I am fond of dark or evil sounding names (strange I know) so he was re-named Demon

He settled in really quickly and we had no real issues to deal with other than the lack of any formal training. I began training him at agility at 11 months. He took to agility like a duck to water. His biggest problem has always been his sheer enthusiasm. With his speed and stride, we have struggled with consistency in clear rounds. He is not the smartest dog at times so contacts and difficult exercises have proved quite hard to train.

We have worked hard together to improve and finally got the end result at Crufts last year when he won the Medium Championship title. Other highlights have been reaching the Olympia finals in 2010 and the DARL League finals which he won in 2011. We have just completed a successful Crufts 2012, winning the Singles and the Mixi Pairs finals and qualifying for the Champ Final!

He is the perfect agility dog - calm and affectionate at home, driven in the ring. He is happy to queue and watch quietly. He is very headstrong so I cannot afford to let him get away with anything. Our biggest problem has been his lack of respect for the poles and not wanting to wait. Demon has taught me so much - the biggest lesson of all being patience!

I am hugely grateful to our sponsors James Wellbeloved, for providing him with his rocket fuel. He has performed extremely well on their foods and has maintained his glossy coat and great physical shape. Thanks to Vets Kitchen as well for keeping his joints in top condition with their Active Dogs supplement. With a strenuous lifestyle I am conscious that I want Demon to remain as fit and as healthy as possible.

Training as always is on-going and I thoroughly enjoy practising new and more difficult exercises with him. He has become so much more consistent and he is my dog in a million.

About the author...
Helen Anderson is 26 years old and works full time as a PA to the Managing Director of a manufacturing company. She trains her dogs (and others) as and when she can find time in between work and competing.

Helen got into agility at 15 with her Cocker Spaniel Asha, probably because her mum was already competing. Now 12 years old, Asha qualified her for Crufts twice. Her highlight is reaching the Championship class.

Now Helen is training her eight month old Border Collie called Neo and she says that as long as her dogs enjoy competing, she will, too.

First published 18 April 2012


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