Our Dogs Competing in Agility Competitions

A few years ago, Kevin signed us up to compete with our dogs in agility competitions! Check out what it’s like to compete in agility competitions with your dogs! We can’t get enough!AKC Master Agility Champion Miley the Boston Terrier

Miley & Howie Having a Blast

At the end of 2008 Kevin started competing in AKC agility with Miley and Howie, our hyperactive, fun-loving, and perpetually malodorous Boston Terriers. He entered them in a weekly class after work as a way to get some exercise while teaching the dogs a few basic obedience commands.

In these classes, Kevin learned to guide Miley and Howie through obstacle courses, competing in a race for speed and accuracy, using only his voice and hand gestures.

As it turns out, it was also a whole lot of fun.

AKC Master Agility Champion Miley the Boston Terrier

Last weekend Miley earned her Master Agility Champion (MACH) title.

The MACH is the highest AKC agility title a dog can earn. The dog and its handler must compete together to earn qualifying scores and titles in multiple divisions of agility before reaching the highest division in agility, Excellent B. In Excellent B, the dog can start earning MACH points for each second it finishes a course under the standard course time set by the judge.

There are two courses the dog can compete in on a trial day. The standard course includes each of the basic agility obstacles like the A-frame, chute, teeter-totter, and table, where the dog must show restraint and control by pausing on the table until given a release command. The jumpers course is a maze of jumps, weave poles, and tunnels.

AKC Master Agility Champion Miley the Boston Terrier

In competition, each and every agility course is different and can have over 20 obstacles per course. The handlers have a few minutes to walk and familiarize themselves with the course, but the dog only gets one chance to complete the course successfully. The dog does not get a practice run of the course.

To get the MACH title, the dog must accumulate 750 MACH points and have 20 double qualification runs. A Double Q is when the dog has perfect runs on both courses (standard and jumpers) on a trial day. Miley completed her 20th Double Q back in October, but still needed around 200 more MACH points to finish the title.

Last Friday at a trial in Nashville, TN she earned those final points and got the title.

I am bursting with pride for these two.

Watch this video in HD

Here’s a video Kevin made that shows Miley’s 20th Double Q runs in October, and her run last weekend where she earned her 750th MACH point to get the Champion title. At the end, they get to take a bar off the course as a trophy and run a victory lap around the ring.

You’ll see the camera start to shake as I well up with pride.

See more Miley and Howie agility videos on our Vimeo and YouTube channels.

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139 Responses
  1. Lauren @ 31 diy

    Congrats to Miley! What a smart little pup! This is inspiring me to get into agility training with my girls. I know they’d love it!

  2. Natasha

    Awesome job! Does Kevin use the Derrett handling method? I could tell he was having a blast! I love what he does with his feet during the weave poles, I catch myself doing that sometimes too with my labradoodle! :)

  3. Lynn

    I just found your web site today, and having my own Boston Terrier, Todd, I just had to watch your video. I jumped up out of my seat and cheered as Miley and Kevin did their victory lap! Congratulations!

  4. Dianne

    That is so awesome. I clicked onto your site from somewhere else (CoffeeShop Blog) b/c of the little BT graphic. We have a 10 year old BT – they are just the greatest dogs. Loved seeing yours do agility (and the other videos are pretty darn cute too!!)

  5. Shanna ~ my favorite everything

    That was awesome! My 3 and 2 year old just went nutty over the video! Thanks so much for sharing! Sorry Ii couldn’t come to San diego when you were in California…looks like I missed a lot of good eats and treats!!!

  6. Shelley @ Green Eggs & Hamlet

    Congratulations! What an awesome accomplishment. I have been thinking about doing agility with my Boston, Hamlet, and this has totally convinced me, thanks!

  7. Kristen

    I love your website! Thank you so much for sharing all that you do with us!

    My dog’s name is Miley too! She is a maltipoo and is pretty precious like your Miley! :-)


  8. Laura

    Waaaarrrrr Eaagle! HEY! I love Kevin representing Auburn!! I am an Alumni and found your blog through a twitter friend and was so surprised and delighted to see the Auburn hat and shirt!

  9. Melissa

    Mia and I are starting agility lessons on Thursday. We’ve (well, I) been super excited for weeks, but this post just made me even more excited! :D

  10. Cheryl Newton

    Thanks for sharing. So sweet, I even teared up. And how hot is your hubby? I can’t imagine our giant chocolate Lab (about 115 lbs.) ever doing anything so impressive. I don’t know what we ever did without him, but he’s kind of a doofus. Example: he greeted me at the door this afternoon with one of the heat vent covers dangling from his collar. He somehow got his tags caught. ???????

  11. Debbie W

    Is it weird I was cheering them on at the end? I couldn’t help smiling as I watched. :) Congratulations…I love the image at the end!!

  12. Pam

    My face hurts from all the smiling I was doing while watching the video. How can you not smile seeing that adorable Miley earn her title? Way to go!

  13. Steph and PB&J

    It’s so great to see Miley again!! What an amazing accomplishment for her and for Kevin too! The video made me cry! :) SOO proud of you guys!!! :)

  14. Aimee

    That is so cool! I used to think about getting our Dharma into agility – she loved jumping and running and would have had a blast – but then she blew a disc and had to have back surgery, poor girl. She’s gone now (too early), and I like to imagine that her idea of puppy Heaven is one big agility course.

    Congratulations to your champs!!

  15. Becky Burk

    How fun! I just finished watching the video with my 2 year old who’d crazy about dogs! As a veterinarian I have to say that Miley’s the most lean Boston I think I’ve ever seen :) hahaha Good job mom!

  16. Kimberly Blaize

    That is so special!! So neat, glad I watched the video. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy your blog you have the neatest things on it, and I look forward to seeing your post.

  17. mamajax

    Congrats!! That is such a huge accomplishment for them both. You have every right to be a proud spouse and mom :) Thanks for sharing

  18. Rosemary

    Aww! Congrats Miley (and Kevin, too!). Good work. I got a lump in my throat when all the applause happened, too!

    I just love you blog, by the way. Your photography is beautiful – and when you photograph food – well,! I’m just about crawling into my monitor to try and get a bite….I love your travel shots – and your sunset shots – and all the other shots you share, too. I’m not all just about food! :)

    And – of course when you share Miley & Howie shots with us – well, that’s just icing on the cake! (here I go again with the food!)

    Thanks for sharing with us……

  19. Miranda

    I smiled the whole way thru! I’m such a sap – I even teared up! She’s the sweetest thing and you husband definitely gets a workout! CONGRATULATIONS!!! :-)

  20. Lynn

    Way to go Kevin and Miley!!! That was awesome to watch! I can’t imagine how much time and effort you must have put in to accomplish that amazing run!

  21. Lorraine

    I had tears in my eyes watching your little dog race around the course and gaining such a wonderful achievement!!! Your husband must be extremely fit because your dog runs really fast. I tried agility with my dog and he is also really fast but I didn’t have enough control over him and sometimes in the middle of things he would just run off!!! Dogs are so much fun and you definitely have fun with your two dogs. Thanks for sharing.

  22. Catherine

    he must be so smart, the dog, not the husband. well, i guess he’s pretty smart, too. aren’t they amazing creatures? (the dog, i mean. well, again, maybe the husband ,too.) congrats, looks like so much fun.

  23. Jenniy

    Congratulations! That is quite an achievement. That video had me tearing up towards the end. I am so glad that I found your blog!

  24. Anita

    Wow! Miley is so well trained! I just love all of your posts about your dogs– I wish I could have one of my own, but unfortunately, dogs and dorm rooms don’t really mix! :0)

  25. Lisa

    What an accomplishment! As a fellow agility handler I know the hard work that went into those runs. Please pass along my congratulations to Kevin & Miley.

  26. Mary Anne

    Awwww, I had tears rolling down my face watching Miley! I saw you guys compete in Alpharetta last year when I brought my Boston, Bella, to watch! Way to go–all the hard work has paid off!

  27. Kate

    Thank you so much for posting this. I saw it on my reader and just had to see. I unfortunately lost my dog over the weekend and it has been very tough. I have been reaching out to the blog community to share my loss with others and to reflect on all the ways our fur-babies enhance our lives. This post brought tears to my eyes, as I watch the two interact together. Thank you.

  28. Kelly

    Awww… That is so great! What a good little girl :-) My friend is thinking about starting her dogs in some agility training… It looks like they have so much fun! :-)

  29. Eileen Tamashiro

    Just finished watching Miley and Kevin! Congrats! Job well done . . . my older son was watching with me and was just amazed!

  30. Janet Thwaits

    As a new fan of your blog I have really enjoyed your adventures and recipes!! My husband, a veterinarian, and I really enjoyed today’s
    video and Miley’s superb performance. What a thrill for you all. Our
    hardiest congratulations and best wishes.
    Kevin did quite a job too. Not an easy task!!

    Keep up the good work!


  31. Jen V.

    Aw, congrats to Kevin & Miley! Thank you so much for sharing that video!! I welled up too, what a great moment. Our pets really are members of the family…thank goodness for them!

    And I’m super jealous of Miley’s ability to stay, even when she wants to run. I need to know the trick to making that work since my hyper little pug is CONSTANTLY moving :)

  32. Toni

    Congratulations! I always figured Boston’s would be great at agility because they have a lot of speed and are very smart. They are also “people pleasers” which helps too :). I would love to get mine started doing something like that but we have no facilities around here :(

  33. Dalis

    wow miley sure has him very well trained… omg… thanks for the video it was fantastic!!!!! And coongrats for the MACH!!!!!! oh… and I have to say Kevin does the cutest march when weaving poles… LOL!!!

    — dalis

  34. Allison M

    Congrats to Miley and Kevin! That is so fun and exciting. My husband and I talked about doing that with our dog since he has so much energy.

  35. Jessica @ The Budget Savvy Bride

    How exciting! Congrats to Kevin & Miley!! Would love to grab coffee if you’re ever in Nashville again! :)

  36. Carrie Gamber

    That is by far the cutest thing I have ever seen… How AWESOME!!! Great job.. what smart little pups you have? I’m curious, is this something new that they started doing? How great they could learn that! Congrats to Kevin and Miley!

  37. Stephanie

    That is so cool! I can only imagine how proud you must all be! Great job Kevin & Miley! :) Thanks for sharing the video – it was fun to see all the excitement!

  38. Alvina

    Haha wow, that was fun! :] And Kevin does have a do a bit of running! I think my favorite part is when Miley stands on the platform until Kevin says she can move. :] Congrats!

  39. Jessica B

    OK. Does it make me a complete weirdo that I cried during the victory lap??!! Sheesh. Awesome accomplishment — WTG Miley and Kevin!! :)

  40. Anna Faustini

    Hi Amanda,
    So very happy for you all. Congratulations on winning the Championship!! I loved watching the video…Hooray!!

  41. Kasey

    Your Bostons are adorable. Boy do I know about all that energy! I also have a Boston [her name is Lola] and she is nothing but a big ball of energy!

  42. amy s (OH)

    That was the coolest and sweetest thing. I didn’t expect to get teary eyed but I did!
    P.S. I love your website. It’s one of my favorites.

  43. Vickie McNulty

    Major congratulations!! I run my two Australian Shepherds in agility so I know exactly how much work goes into obtaining this title!! My girl Kaylie has all her MACH points – it’s those QQs that are hard to get! We’re at #14, so just 6 more to go. Some day!! But good job, and give that Miley lots of hugs and treats!

  44. Belinda

    Congratulations! My son was involved with flyball for several years and loved it….looks like Miley and Kevin had alot of fun together! Miley appears very proud! Thanks for sharing! Loved it!

  45. Amy W.

    I LOVE Miley’s expression in the posed picture with Kevin and the ribbon. She looks just like a kid that is saying, “hurry up and take the picture, would ya?” Congrats!

  46. Tina Bowering

    How awesome is that? We’ve got a Jack Russell who needs way more exercise – I think she’d love agility. I just have to find a place to do it close to home…thanks for the video!

  47. Jan

    That is so neat! I have watched these competitions on television before and thought they were amazing. You can tell they are having so much fun, too. Congratulations on a great accomplishment!

  48. The Mrs

    Dangit! Now I’m sitting here tearing up!! Congrats to Kevin and Miley! You can tell the trust she has in him to guide her through the course.

  49. Lois Martin

    That was so awesome. I love Bostons. We have a Silky and I am going to get him started in Agility. Good job Miley and good job Kevin. And hey, you got lots of great hugs!

  50. Carla

    I had tears in my eyes the whole video!! That was so awesome! Congratulations Kevin & Miley!!!! They were perfect and this was so much fun to watch!!

  51. AmandaD

    Congrats! That is a major accomplishment & they are too adorable together. I did agility with my dog & we had such a great time.

  52. emily

    I LOVE this! I would like to do this with my dog but I don’t see him succeeding! He’s an older dog and a rescue and won’t leave my side for anything, 85# of Malinois always leaning against me!

  53. Paulette

    Congrats to Kevin and Miley that is so neat. Now they both need some sweet treats. Bostons are a wonderful breed small, the capacity of love they have for their owners is amazing Paulette

  54. Brenda

    This reminds me so much of my Boston. I had to have him put to sleep in December 2010 at 13 yrs. of age. I really miss him and he would have loved to have had a chance to do agility competing.
    Your Bostons are so beautiful and congrats to you all!!

  55. Mia_h_n

    Congrats to them! :) LOL! I love how the ribbon’s twice the size of Miley! :D
    This really takes me back to when I used to do agility with my dog. Thanks for posting.

  56. Jenny

    I literally cried the entire victory lap! I have a Boston that I adore that we had to leave with my sister (temporarily, of course!) while we moved out of the country. I miss him so much and you inspired me to do something like this with Henry when we get back. Congratulations Miley and Kevin!

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Kevin and Amanda

We love to travel and to eat! Here we share our favorite quick and easy recipes, plus travel tips and guides for our favorite places around the world. If you have any questions about what camera I use or how I edit my photos, check out my photography tutorials.


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