By Tara Goldstein
Dogs and their owners can expect a day of games, obstacle courses and competitions at Fido Fest in . Hosted by local Laurel business Social Tailwaggers, the event will be both fun and challenging for the dogs, according to Jody Broughton, owner of Social Tailwaggers and event organizer. “I’m trying to get people to understand and see what they can do with their dogs,” Broughton said. “I want everyone to relax and have fun with their dogs.”
Broughton has wanted to host an event like this ever since she opened Social Tailwaggers in 2016. A former real estate agent, Broughton started the business after taking a dog training class. While she was expecting to learn how to teach a dog to sit and stay, she quickly became fascinated about the psychology behind dog behaviors. Now, Broughton teaches group classes and provides one-on-one home training. She focuses on positive reinforcement techniques that reward dogs when they respond appropriately to commands.
Broughton’s main goal for both her business and the upcoming Fido Fest is to show others that training dogs is much more than just giving commands for them to follow. Dogs need both mental and physical exercise to tire them out, Broughton said. Walking dogs can offer both mental and physical exercise, and engaging dogs in a variety of games can also stimulate them to think and even solve puzzles. .
For Fido Fest, Broughton has designed a spoon race that involves the owners holding a treat on a spoon as they walk their dog. If they drop the treat, the dog may eat it, but they then have to start the course over again. There will also be puzzles for the dogs to solve, including a sniff course with hidden treats and an obstacle course that leads to Grandoggy’s House.
There will also be a group of rescue dogs available for adoption and a few vendors attending the event, Broughton said.
Fido Fest will take place on May 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at American Legion Post 60, 2 Main Street. For more information, go to socialtailwaggers.com.