Dog Agility Course Opens at Marv Gans Community Park

Dog Agility Course Opens at Marv Gans Community Park

Dog Agility Course Opens at Marv Gans Community Park
Posted on 07/28/2021
Dog Agility Course Opens at Marv Gans Community ParkNorthville Township is now home to a dog agility course thanks to a Troop 755 Eagle Scout project at Marv Gans Community Park. Township resident Jonathan Barringer, 17, built the six-obstacle course and is hosting a grand opening of the course Friday, July 30 from 2-4 pm. You’re invited! 

He recruited dog trainer Elly Price to run mini agility dog training classes to introduce the sport to canines and their owners. To register, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f48a4ae2bab9-agility.

The cost for the mini lesson is free to members of the Dog Park. To become a member visit http://northvilleparksandrec.org/parks_and_facilities/parks/dog_park.

Barringer, a University of Detroit Jesuit High School student organized, raised funds, recruited assistance and built the agility course to give both dogs and their owners get exercise while bonding. 

Agility is a growing dog sport in the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC) reports more than one million entries to the AKC Agility program each year. 

With the help of the owner, a dog races against the clock while navigating an obstacle course by using cues and body language of the owner to direct Fido.

All breeds and all sizes can partake in agility. 

“I got the idea for this as my Eagle Project after I took my dog to an agility course that was far away,” said Barringer. He wanted something closer to work with Rebel, his Golden Retriever.

This course is housed in the back of the large dog’s section of Marv Gans Community Park, where there was space to accommodate the layout. 

The obstacles are: 
A pause table, where a pooch waits to start and finish a course. 
A hoop, in two sizes, for both small and bigger dogs to jump through
A dog walk (ramp) used to teach a dog to refrain from jumping off early
Two bar jumps, made out of PVC pipe, each has four different heights
Weave poles, six flexible poles to weave through
A tunnel, a one-way obstacle a dog must go all the way through

Barringer designed the course focusing on quality and longevity. It cost $5,000 to build.

To raise money for it, he returned refundable bottles, picked up dog poop for donating customers, started a GoFundMe campaign and secured $2,500 in business sponsorships.

“Jonathon worked very hard and did a great job on the agility course,” said Northville Parks and Recreation Director Mark Gasche. “We expect it will be a popular addition to our dog park, as we have observed many of the members already working with their dogs on the course.”

An Eagle Project is a requirement to get the Eagle Scout designation, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts program. Only 4% of Scouts achieve this rank. During the project, Barringer demonstrated leadership and organizational skills while performing a project for the benefit of their community. 

“I was 16 when I started this project and it took six months to build,” Barringer said. “I’m happy how it turned out.”

The Marv Gans Community Park Dog Park is off Five Mile Road, west of Beck Road. It is open 7 am-9 pm.