Agility Dogs

Read some of the stories of our Agility Dogs

Mighty Joe Young – C-ATCH 2, ChST, ChCL, ChSN, PD1, PG1, PJ1, PK1, OAC, NJC, TN-N


It was 2001 and Bonnie and Tim Kelleher were looking for a Dalmatian to adopt when they came upon the Out of the Pits’ booth at a NY Capital District horse show. “I didn’t know a thing about Pit Bulls” Bonnie remembers. “But I heard someone remark that the organization was expecting the arrival of a homeless puppy from New Jersey in the next few days. His name was “Mighty Joe Young. Now who could say “no” to a puppy with a name like that?”

Little did Bonnie know that the scared, neglected puppy she took into her arms a few days later would turn out to be “Mighty” indeed. She and Tim had filled out all the required paperwork and the home visit had been done and now he was settling in.

It started as he was growing into adolescence. Although sleek and beautiful, the little black dog Bonnie was now calling “Joey” began to display some insecurities. To increase his confidence out in the world, Bonnie was advised to enroll the young dog in agility classes. It was here that Joey began to come into his own. By the time he reached 1 ½ years of age, his confidence was growing, his performances becoming steadier and he was beginning to display a lot of talent on the agility field. It was at this point that Bonnie was advised to introduce her beautiful black dog to the world of agility competition.

It wasn’t long before Joey began to establish his presence out there. Sometime he was the lone pit bull in a world of border collies, Australian shepherds and other dazzling agility performers. But the once-shy Pit Bull was developing a happier attitude and people were beginning to notice the beautiful black dog who worked with such pizzazz. As time went on Joey began to bring home more and more ribbons. His accomplishments mounted until one day he made history as the first pit bull ever to be awarded the C-ATCH (Canine Performance Event Agility Titled Champion) title.

Since that time Joey has been piling on the titles and even though – at the age of seven – he’s becoming a bit of an “old pro” he still sparkles with happiness when he performs.

“I go out there and really have fun with him now,” Bonnie says. “I can’t believe he’s come so far.

“Mighty Joe Young” has certainly lived up to the name given to that insecure, scared puppy so many years ago. And we at Out of the Pits are mighty proud and mighty grateful for the good will our beautiful Joey creates for Pit Bulls everywhere each time he enters the agility field.

Chester – CGC, TT, CL1-R, CL1-F

Chester is a coming 6 year old brindle beauty who we adopted from the Mohawk Hudson River Humane Society thanks to Cydney Cross when he was about 4 months old.

At that time, he was a demodectic emaciated puppy – far from the gleaming hunk he is today. We started in obedience training at Mahogany Ridge in Malta, New York and also took classes at Albany Obedience Club (agility), Cathy Crawmer (obedience), and Sit Happens (Rally).

We started our agility training at MR in the first year with Theresa Richmond and have continued to train at AOC and with Francine Segreti at D.O.G. Training in Germantown.

Chester LOVES to race around the agility courses and I am starting to learn to keep up! His favorite obstacle is the teeter. We compete mainly in C.P.E. and NADAC trials and often have Bonnie Kelleher coaching us along!!

Photos by Barry Rosen

Dexter Brown – CL1-F, CL1-H

Dexter Brown is the latest Out of the Pits dog to earn the distinction of being a titled agility pit bull.

Dexter was one of nine puppies found in a box on a street in the Bronx. When he was eight weeks old, he went to his new home with Tim and Sarah, and their two year old pit bull, Charlotte. That spring, Dexter began his puppy classes in obedience with an introduction to agility obstacles.

It was obvious that he enjoyed the classes, so the following season, he was back on the field for his continued agility training. Under the tutelage and encouragement of Cathy Crawmer and Glenn Stevans, Dexter and Tim began their first season of agility competition in the summer of 2010. It took only two trials for Dexter to earn his first titles, CL1-F and CL1-H, and to move up a level. Dexter is a stand-out at the shows due to his speed and enthusiasm on the course, but he is a real star after his runs. Between classes Dexter enjoys the attention of the crowd and can often be found flat on his back, mouth open in a pit bull smile, getting his belly rubbed. Everyone loves to pet the “big brown pit bull” and hear his story.

Stay tuned for updates on Dexter Brown’s next season of agility competition, and come watch him perform at a local CPE event. Be sure to save some time for a belly rub.