Category Archives: dog sport

Meet Disc Dog Champ Kirby McIlveen

By Julia Williams

It is my pleasure to introduce you to 17-year-old Kirby McIlveen, a CANIDAE Special Achiever. Kirby and her talented team of canine athletes compete in Disc Dog competitions across the United States. They not only compete, they excel, as evidenced by the many impressive records they hold. With her dog Torch, a McNab, Kirby became the first female and youngest ever at 17 years old to win the 2011 Skyhoundz World Championships!

CANIDAE is proud to sponsor Kirby and her dogs through its Special Achievers program. CANIDAE accepts only the very best canine athletes for sponsorship, and Kirby and her “Disc Dogs” are a perfect example of how premium dog food can contribute to athletic excellence. Kirby’s five dogs all eat CANIDAE food, naturally, and their good health and ability to excel at their sport helps promote the many benefits of a premium quality holistic pet food.

How old were you when you began competing in Disc Dog?

I started training and competing in disc dog competitions when I was 12 years old. When I was 13, I started freestyle with my Border Collie, Sketch.

How did you get started? What inspired you to try the sport?

I initially had a Shih Tzu, Lucky, who liked to play agility. I wanted to get another dog for agility, and decided to get a Border Collie. Sketch came into my life when I was 10 years old. He had a lot of energy, as most Border Collies do, so we needed another activity for him. We joined a disc dog class at an agility school. From there, we found out about the Disc Dog world and competitions.

How many dogs do you compete with?
I compete with five dogs, all powered by CANIDAE. Sketch, Flash, and Torch compete at a top level, while Blitz and Spirit are still “in training.”

Sketch – 7 year old Border Collie; Flash – 4 year old McNab; Torch – 1.5 year old McNab; Blitz – 4 year old Border Collie; Spirit – 1.5 year old Terrier Mix

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Intro to Weight Pulling, a Fun Sport for Dogs

By Jen Lupo, CANIDAE Special Achiever

There are many dog lovers out there competing in various different events. Back in 2009, I found one that sparked my interest: weight pulling. This dog sport has been around for a while, although it’s not as popular as conformation, agility, obedience and dock jumping. Weight pulling involves strength and endurance, but it also creates an amazing bond between an owner and their pet!

Overview

Most dog owners are unaware of this interesting sport. Any breed of dog can compete or just have a good time with it. From the smallest toy poodle to the biggest Great Dane, each dog has fun and gains confidence and athleticism. It usually involves a dog in a specially designed harness, hooked up to a sled, cart or rail type system. The dog is then given a command that the owner chooses to get the dog to pull forward. Typically, the object being pulled has to be accomplished 16 ft in 60 seconds or less.

The Beginning

When I start training my dogs for this sport, they just wear a harness around. This helps them get accustomed to wearing the harness and the noise of it clinking around. From there, I have attached a milk jug to the D ring on the back with rocks inside. That’s a great way to get noise going on back there, while walking them around on leash. A buckle collar is the only one I train with. It is the only collar approved for competition, and it’s safe. Chokers and other types of training collars to me get in the way or cause too much correction. Remember, it should be something happy for the dog. Any negative feedback will cause a dog to not want to pull.

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CANIDAE Sponsored Dogs Make a Splash at “Paws in the Pool”

By Linda Cole

Dock diving is a popular and inexpensive sport you can enjoy with your dog. The competition is friendly but competitive, and the dogs love every minute of it! At the recent Splash Dogs competition held in Lancaster, OH on August 20 and 21, Team CANIDAE was well represented with talented canine athletes ready to show why they’re top dogs. Tony Reed of Splash Dogs and Terry Cook of Aqua Dogs hosted the event that had handlers and dogs from all over the country eager to hit the dock to show how far their dogs can fly.

The Paws in the Pool competition wasn’t just about having a great time with your dog. The event also raised money to help support local animal shelters and rescue groups in the Fairfield County and surrounding area in Ohio. Animal shelters across the country are having record number of pets surrendered to them with fewer donations to help keep shelters operating. Events like Paws in the Pool help to raise much needed funds for rescue groups and shelters. Dog teams from around the country gathered in Lancaster to give their support to a good cause, have fun and find out who has the top dock diving dog, at least for this competition.

The Paws in the Pool competition was open to all interested dock diving clubs. Several CANIDAE Team members participated and made a great showing. A big congratulations to Dan Jacobs and his Labrador Retriever Kody who placed 2nd in the Pro Division Finals with a score of 20.01 ft. and Brian Johnson and his Chocolate Lab Gunner who placed 3rd with a score of 20.00 ft. Dan and his Labrador Retriever Kasey took top honors in the Senior Division placing 1st with a winning jump of 18.06 ft. Lynn Taylor worked three dogs through the Junior Division placing 3rd, 4th and 6th. Riot, a German Shorthaired Pointer, took 3rd with a score of 12.09 ft.; Champ, a German Shorthaired Pointer, finished 4th with a score of 12.07 ft.; Cajun, a Labrador Retriever, took 6th with a score of 10.06 ft. Way to go Team CANIDAE!

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Dog Scouts of America: Dogs are Not Furniture!

By Suzanne Alicie

If you’re a dog lover, there is an organization you simply must check out. I was astounded to realize that we don’t just have Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts organizations, there’s also a Dog Scouts of America (DSA). The Boy Scout and Girl Scout motto is: “Be Prepared!” The Dog Scouts of America’s motto is:

“Our dog’s lives are much shorter than ours – let’s help them enjoy their time with us as much as we can.”

Doesn’t that tell you something wonderful about this non-profit organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of both dog lovers and dogs?

The founder of DSA, Lonnie Olson, believes that dogs were not meant to be “furniture” or accessories, and that they enjoy learning new things and spending time with their owners. Without a way to work out all the natural energy dogs have, they may get in trouble, be destructive and even develop health problems. The DSA is meant to bring people and their dogs closer together, to teach them to communicate with one another, and to challenge them to learn and do something new and different while working together to improve their communities.

CANIDAE loves the idea that the DSA promotes responsible pet ownership. Through their many publications including free articles, brochures, a manual and newsletter as well as their website, the main theme is being a responsible pet owner and community member. Dog lovers will find many community enrichment ideas, various sporting events and activities, and training information via the DSA.

Lonnie and the DSA want people to stop thinking of dogs as being disposable and recognize the innate intelligence, comfort, companionship and responsibility that are involved with owning a dog, or rather being owned BY a dog. The DSA holds yearly scouting camps where people and dogs come together to learn interactive skills and have a great time together.

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How to Train Your Dog for Agility Competitions

By Linda Cole

Agility training is a sport that’s been gaining in popularity for some time. It’s a great way to give your dog plenty of exercise and stimulation to keep his mind and body healthy. You might be surprised to learn your dog isn’t the couch potato you once thought after watching him jump, weave, and run around a course having the time of his life. Agility training requires time and patience, but it’s worth the effort to have a sport you can do together. If you’ve taught your dog basic commands, then he’s ready to learn how to navigate an agility course.

Contact obstacles include a teeter-totter, dog walk and A-frame. They’re called contact obstacles because in order for the dog to successfully complete the task, he must touch a certain spot on one or both ends with at least one of his feet.

Teeter-totter – If your dog is reluctant to walk on the teeter-totter, begin with a square 4 x 4 piece of plywood on the ground with a small ball under it. Have him move around on the wood so he can get used to movement under his feet. Once he’s comfortable with movement, move to the teeter-totter. With your dog on a 6 ft. leash, give him a description command for each obstacle (teeter-totter, A-frame, weave, etc.) and move him towards the obstacle. Make sure he touches any required spots before going on. When he correctly succeeds at each task, give him praise and a treat reward. As he gets used to the movement of the teeter-totter, you can increase his speed.


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The Advantages of Belonging to a Dog Club

By Linda Cole

Dog events are held around the country every year, and they are all sponsored by a dog club. Whether it’s an event in obedience, a conformation dog show, agility or field trials – it was organized by a dog club. Even if you have never participated in a sponsored event, joining a dog club is to your advantage and may even inspire you to enter your dog in one of their events.

Before joining any dog club, you must first decide what it is you want from one. You can find a variety of dog clubs, each with their own area of interest, and not all dog clubs are AKC sponsored. Clubs are for people and their dogs who share a love for a specific breed, or an enthusiasm for hiking, surfing, field trials, agility, obedience and many other interests. The one thing they all have in common is a love for dogs and an activity the members are interested in. Some dog clubs have a relaxed atmosphere while others are more demanding and want the dogs to be well behaved. It depends on the individual club, so you need to understand what’s expected before joining one. However, all clubs expect dogs to be socialized with other dogs and people.


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