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With 65 handlers and the quietest bunch of dogs anyone has ever run into, the Arf And Running Agility Club Competition is an attraction to agility trainers throughout the state.

Club leader Susan Suter said people came from as far away as Sand Point, Idaho. Dogs and handlers were in town from Polson, Missoula, Bozeman, Kalispell and Thompson Falls as well, with a menagerie of border collies, collies, mutts, Belgian Malinois and spaniels of all stripes. 

Helena has two trials per year, according to Suter. "There are agility trials all over the state, Suter said. Dogs were so focused outside the ring that the noise level was all but a hum with human voices the loudest. 

There are four divisions in the agility world under the North American Dog Agility Council, of which the Arf And Running Agility Club is part. Elite is the highest level, with open, novice and intro groups offering other skill levels for all types. "There's a lot of young people here," Suter said. "We have about 15-18 4-H'ers here today, and people in their 50s, 60s and 70s too."

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Crime and Health Reporter

Crime and health reporter for the Helena Independent Record.

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