He trots through tunnels, leaps over jumps and bobs and weaves between poles like a true canine athlete.
Only thing is he’s a pig. A nine-month-old pot-bellied crossbreed to be exact and he answers to the name of Louie.
Louie, who walks to heel on a lead, enjoys a lively game of fetch and will do anything for a ginger biscuit, is the pride and joy of animal behaviorist Sue Williams in her Porthmadog, North Wales home.
Williams, who is also co-director of the Cheshire Dog Display Team, first noticed Louie’s special ability when she was trying to train one of her dogs to run through a tunnel.
“Louie decided to zoom through the tunnel instead. I was really taken aback,” Williams says. “I thought, ‘Hold on a minute – the pig’s doing a better job than the dog’”.
Williams acquired Louie when he was just three months old but because he was so much smaller than her other pigs, he had to be kept separately for his own safety. Thus he was given the freedom to roam the grounds of her home and started making friends with his canine mates
According to Williams, Louie has been accepted by his canine colleagues because he has earned his place in the team.
Together they have appeared in half a dozen agricultural and talent shows and, once Louie is granted an official animal exhibition license from the local council, Williams hopes he will be able to compete in real dog shows and even compete in the local Dog Display Team competition.
Unfortunately for Louie however, it appears his hopes to make the team may have been dealt a crushing blow.
Dog team organizers say their agility competition is strictly restricted to dogs which are at least 18 months old – and Louie is neither.