Treats, tricks and tail-wagging really is a dog’s paw-adise

A world of treats, tricks and tail-wagging really is a dog’s paw-adise…

Malvern Garden Buildings are proud to be sponsoring Martha Preece, a talented young dog agility trainer, and her two dogs, Maxwell and Elsie, in 2022!

They have an exciting year ahead, including competing at Crufts! Let’s meet them…

Martha Preece with dogs Elsie and Maxwell

Meet Martha

Martha is a very ‘tail-ented’ agility coach to her two beloved dogs Maxwell and Elsie. But where did the journey all begin?

Martha says, “For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to become a vet. When I was ten years old I took part in my first agility lesson and fell in love.

Within the agility world, you can aim to get onto the Team GB squad and it can lead to opportunities to compete globally. I always like to aim high!

You can begin agility training with your dog from the age of 8 weeks, at 9-10 weeks they really start learning and developing.

In the future, I aspire to become a qualified veterinary physiotherapist and set up my own business. I’m currently completing an online canine massage physio course which will really help the sporting side of this dog training industry and help to prevent injuries amongst dogs.

I also want to continue teaching agility for dogs, particularly beginner’s agility, as there’s not much of that around. My ultimate goal is to compete at Champ Level (grade 7) with both dogs and compete in Crufts again!”

Martha regularly attends training seminars around the country, training her own dogs twice a week at a committee-run club and when possible attends shows at weekends, alongside teaching agility twice a week. The rewards of self progression and helping others fuel Martha’s passion to continue to become the best she can be in the dog training industry.

Martha Preece's dog Max

Meet Maxwell

“Heywoof! I’m Maxwell, or Maxi for short! My Mum was a Jack Russell and my Dad was a Border Terrier.

Don’t let my size and ruffled complexion fool you – Martha says I’m one of the most talented terriers she knows. When I was 2, Martha first let me run over coloured sticks! And boy, I absolutely LOVED it! I knew just exactly what to do. And as they say, the rest was history…

I now compete all over the country against other small but mighty dogs. It started small (like me), but over time I ran fast enough to attend national and international competitions; in fact, I came second overall at the UKA Finals just a couple of months ago!

As I’m competing in Crufts 2022, I’ve been back on my competition diet. Raring and ready to be a lean, keen, running machine!”

Martha Preece's dog Elsie with a ball

Meet Elsie

“Hiiii! I’m Elsie, a black Working Cocker Spaniel. My Great Grandad and Aunt are both national field champions, so I have big paws to tread into! I’m only 10 months old but I already absolutely love agility! When I reach 18 months old, I’ll be able to compete like Maxwell.

I’ve learned how to zoom through tunnels and around jump wings! It’s easy really; just like chasing a rabbit around a field! I think I’m going to really love competing when my time comes! My Mum (Martha) has big plans for me… I’ve even heard talk of attending a GB try out when I’m old enough.

So as many young, pawsome athletes say… watch this space!”

Fur-m Favourites

Over the time spent training both of her pups, Martha has her firm favourite tricks to perform.

She says: “For the dogs to learn a new skill, it usually takes around 1 to 4 weeks to really get it honed in with them.

In terms of agility, my favourite trick to do with Maxi is the weave. This is where he weaves throughout 12 poles. It was such a long process to learn and teach and requires such great mental power from a dog. I find it so interesting and incredible!

As for Elsie, my favourite trick to do together is finding a que. I really enjoyed working on this with Elsie and aspire to do gundog training in the future with her. Working Cocker Spaniels have a natural retrieve instinct, so this is a great skill to showcase!”.

Stay up to date

Over the duration of the sponsorship, we’ll keep you updated following the journey of Martha, Maxi and Elsie including their upcoming competitions, future plans and more!

We can’t wait to see Maxi and Elsie raise the woof in the dog training world!

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