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West Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The South Congaree Horse Arena has gone to the dogs this weekend, as the Greater Columbia Obedience Club holds its annual spring trials.

Friday, hundreds of dog lovers from all over the region brought their four-legged friends to compete in obstacle courses.

"It takes a lot of training, but it is really cool because you memorize the course and you take your dog out there and it is the first time they have seen this layout at all," said Britney Imhof, member of the Greater Columbia Obedience Club.

Imhof says training and competing with your dog can be great exercise for both the handler and the K-9 partner.

"If you see a handler after a run, they are winded," said Imhof.

One of those winded handlers was Fred Parker, he and his wife made the trip down I-77 from Charlotte with their border collie Spring.

Parker said, "It is not easy, it takes a lot of dedication and a lot of stamina and it also forces you to be in some kind of shape."

Staying in shape at these dog agility events is not the only motivation for Parker.

"It lets us spend time with the dogs and have fun, you meet an awful lot of great people out here, everybody here is dog people," said Parker.

Even if you are not out running obstacle courses with your dog, Imhof hopes that this weekends dog agility competition will motivate other owners to get out and enjoy their animals.

Imhof said, "Do more with your dog, they are part of your family and they deserve time, love, attention, exercise, and mental challenges, and this sport really encompasses all of it."

The dog agility challenges continue through this weekend, the hours are Saturday 9 to 4:30 PM and Sunday 9 to 2:00 PM, admission is free.

For more information on the event go to the Greater Columbia Obedience Club's website at www.gcoc.net.

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