A SCOTTISH dog and her owner will compete in an international dog agility competition next month .

Kilmarnock residents Emma Bryden (31) and her Bearded Collie Shahla will take part in the event due to take place from August 10-13 at Rutland Showground in Oakham, England.

Thousands of dogs and their owners will compete at the world’s largest dog agility competition run by The Kennel Club, the organisation behind the dog show Crufts.

Emma took up dog agility training four years ago in order to help a rescue dog of hers gain confidence. 

Taking part in the activity has helped her build her confidence as well as improving her mental health.

Bryden said: “I suffer with depression, social anxiety and am in the process of being diagnosed with autism – the confidence I get from working with my dogs and the common ground it’s given me to make some amazing friends is like nothing else.

“One of my rescue dogs was terrified of existence and when we first started agility, our trainer could hardly be within six feet without her getting anxious, scared and very reactive towards other dogs.

“Over time she came out of her shell and her confidence grew to a point where she wasn't worried by having other dogs in the class and had the skills and enjoyment to do agility without feeling threatened.”

The Kennel Club is the UK’s largest dog health, welfare and training organisation and runs the UK’s largest dog-training programme and database.

Catherine Guiver, head of events at The Kennel Club, said: “The International Agility Festival is a real highlight in the events calendar that brings together those new to agility and those who have been competing for years.”