EHS Junior Qualifies for Junior Open Agility World Championships

Edwardsville High School junior Allysa Daube has her summer plans set. Daube will be heading to Finland in July to compete in the Junior Open Agility World Championships with her dog, Piper Grace.  

Daube fell in love with agility after seeing her cousin, who lives in Pennsylvania, come to the St. Louis area for a show at Purina Farms a few years ago.  

“I just loved watching the dogs and how they connected with their handlers and said I wanted to do that.” 

Daube saved up her money and began looking for a dog. Her cousin sent her a photo of a dog that her friend’s dad had that was too energetic for him. A 22-hour trip to Pennsylvania later, Daube brought home Piper Grace, a one-and-a-half-year-old miniature Australian Shepherd.  

Daube describes agility as “connecting with your dog”.  

“It’s not just going out and running the course with your dog, it’s connecting with each other and trusting each other and being able to change commands to get your dog to the right place.” 

Daube started training Piper Grace for agility when she was two years old and began with basic obedience skills, such as sit and stay. They then worked up to simple sequences like jump, jump, tunnel before building to bigger sequences and eventually a full course.   

Daube and Piper Grace train about three hours a week, including an hour and a half each week with her coach at Triune Canine Training and Event Center in Wood River. They also spend time in the backyard training.  

While the duo has competed in several competitions – nearly 2-3 per month and mostly throughout Missouri and Illinois – the world championships will be their largest competition.  

“I had learned about internationals and the world championships last summer but didn’t think I was ready to apply just yet and didn’t think I had all the skills I needed.” 

So, Daube waited until this year to complete the online application process, which includes submitting videos and an essay.  

She was taking a math test during sixth hour when the call came to let her know she made the team.  

“I saw a number on my Apple watch from Texas and thought that’s weird. But after class, I picked up my phone, saw they left a message, and it was them.” 

The US team will consist of 24 individuals and their dogs, along with a couple alternates. Daube will meet some of her teammates at a May practice in Missouri but won’t meet many of her teammates until they are all in Finland.  

Daube loves everything about competing in agility although her favorite thing may be clicking with Piper Grace.  

“I like being consistent with her and doing as well as do. When we’re on the course, we are focused and both have our jobs to do and if we do them right, we’ll be successful.”  

In between practices and weekly competitions, Daube is also an honors student and is highly involved at EHS. She is in her first year of playing lacrosse, is on the EPIC Council, is president of the Animal Rescue Club, a member of the National Honor Society and the English National Honory Society and plays handbells in her church.