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Dog gym teaches pets special skills, agility training in Alexandria

It’s a gym for your dog. From the treadmill to skills that you see on display at the Westminster Dog Show, the four legs that walk into Frolick Dogs do similar work at the Alexandria gym.

We watched Scooter come through the tunnel. Scarlet worked the see saw. And Spitfire jumped through the hoop and over the bar. Her owner, Sherri Fries, is the agility trainer.

“Any dog can do this and it’s just what you choose to do with your dogs,” said Fries.

The 4-year-old Border Collie has mastered the weave poles.

“It’s confidence. I think that’s the biggest thing is confidence and the relationship between the people and the dog and any dog can do this,” said Fries.

It’s a lesson for dog owners as well. One of the first things they learn is recall, which is how to bring your dog to you.

The owner of the gym, Kim Gilliam helps Stella stand on top of the exercise ball. She predicts more calls will come in about German Shepherds after the breed won best in show at Westminster, the first time in 30 years.

“For last year, when the German Shorthaired Pointer won Westminster, we quickly got a number of calls from people asking if that would be a good breed for them to get. You know, just that flair in popularity,” said Gilliam.

For now, all breeds are practicing their skills. There are benefits beyond the big stage.

“A well-trained dog is going to be a better behaved dog,” said Gilliam.

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