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Longton schoolgirl is one of area’s youngest dog trainers

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It is certainly a dog’s world for schoolgirl Abby Fletcher.

The 13-year-old spends her free time training pooches – and even hopes to work with canines of a different kind in the future.

The Longton youngster has set her sights set on becoming a dentist and already has her ‘customers’ jumping through hoops.

Abby is one of the youngest dog agility trainers in the area and travels all over the country.

A pupil at Penwortham Priory Academy, she has been taking part in dog agility since she was about eight, as it was also something her mum did, and three years ago she started training her own dogs.

Abby said: “I am a member of the Young Kennel Club and I compete with one of our border terriers Patsy in junior classes and also in adult classes.”

Between them, her family has eight dogs - six border terriers, a cocker spaniel and a lurcher.

The training equipment is set up in the garden and Abby likes nothing better than competing against her mum.

She said: “I have another dog called Ivy and she is my novice dog who has just started in competitions and has hardly any experience.

“Ivy is a sweet and loving dog while Patsy does exactly what she is told.”

Abby says the work helps her bond with the dogs.

She said: “It is really nice when you start training them and it takes a while but then they get it and it is very rewarding.”

She travels to shows with her mum and often ends up competing in the same class.

“My dog is a grade seven so I am more likely to win but Mum’s is faster so she usually wins,” Abby joked. “I have beaten my mum though and have also won quite a few times.”

Abby has a younger sister, Lucy, 11, who is now starting to learn the ropes. Despite all this dog training, Abby’s hopes for the future are to be involved with human ‘canines’.

Science teacher Heather Young said: “She really enjoys her science lessons. Abby has all-round talents but her aspirations are to be a dentist.”

 

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