Rescue Dog Overcomes Aggression to Shine in Agility Competitions

by Lisa

Miles, a rescue dog once labeled as aggressive and unwanted, is now making waves in the world of agility competitions, poised to compete in the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The heartwarming journey of this unlikely superstar began when Christine Longnecker, a horse trainer specializing in show jumping, decided to give him a chance.

Initially apprehensive due to Miles’s reputation for snarling and growling at the shelter, Longnecker’s expectations were pleasantly shattered when Miles entered the horseback riding class with boundless enthusiasm. Far from disruptive, he displayed an innate talent for navigating jumping obstacles, leaving everyone astonished.


Thus began Miles’s career as an agility dog. From enrolling in local agility classes as a hobby to competing in regional and national competitions, Miles swiftly proved himself as a formidable competitor. Despite his mixed-breed appearance, including traits of a Doberman mix, Labrador, Border collie, and various hounds, Miles excelled in agility, defying stereotypes about purebred dominance in dog shows.


Miles’s journey was not without challenges. Initially known for his hostility at the shelter, his transformation into a beloved companion reflects the power of belief and love. Longnecker recalls Miles’s poignant plea to be a good boy, a moment that sparked her determination to help him overcome his past traumas.


Through patience and training, Miles’s anxieties gave way to a newfound joy for agility, evident in his contagious enthusiasm and sharp focus during competitions. Described as a self-appointed assistant coach, Miles even takes it upon himself to demonstrate jumping techniques to Longnecker’s students and, amusingly, the horses.


Now seven years old, Miles is on the path to his third Master Agility Championship, having already earned the title of top All-American dog in agility nationals twice. Longnecker’s unique approach to training, including animal communication, has fostered a deep bond between her and Miles, evident in their seamless teamwork and shared victories.

As Miles continues to defy expectations and inspire others, Longnecker reflects on their journey with pride, affirming that Miles has been the best thing to ever happen to her. Their story serves as a reminder that with belief, love, and perseverance, any dog, regardless of background, can become a beloved companion and accomplished athlete.


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