Focus likes to swim but otherwise wants to move as little as possible, said his handler, Geri Hernandez.
“Off the course he’s a couch potato,” Hernandez, 49, said. “He acts like exercise is killing him except for when he doing agility.”
Focus comes to life in the agility course. He bounds over jumps, scrambles onto ramps and races through tunnels. The Border Collie also lives up to his name.
“He’s very focused,” Hernandez said. “He very much wants to please. He wants to do it right.”
Focus is also half brother to teammate Icon in the large team of the 2009 AKC Agility World Team, of which i Love Dogs is a proud sponsor. Icon belongs to Channan Fosty. In September the team will compete against more than 30 nations in the FCI Dog Agility World Championships in Dornbirn, Austria.
Last year Focus and Hernandez placed fourth at the world championship, missing third place by 500th of a second despite having clean rounds. So her goal for this year is simple – do better than fourth place.
Hernandez and Focus have been practicing all summer. Every six weeks the Southern California residents trek north so they can train with Nancy Gyes, the team coach.
The team, which has nine returning dog/human pairs, will gather twice this summer.
“I think we have a really strong team,” Hernandez said. “Everyone is very positive. I think we’ll have a lot of fun. Everybody is supportive of everyone else.”
Hernandez got into agility about four years ago. She wanted to try it with her terrier mix but the dog didn’t like agility. A trainer friend suggested Hernandez get a Border Collie, so Hernandez got Focus, who was a puppy then. Hernandez’s says Focus was “born old” and is a serious dog.
Agility is a sport Hernandez has a passion for.
“I like the fast pace and I like learning different courses,” she said. “I like the challenges.”
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