I began working with sled dogs at the age of 6 after going for a run with a family friend. Now 17, I am a high school senior in my final year and manage Cottonwood Kennels, a small racing/recreational operation of 11 huskies. My dogs currently range in age from 9 to just yearlings. Because I enjoy working with my dogs as individuals and appreciate the skills that older dogs obtain, I have never gotten into the breeding end of sled dogs. The majority of my animals come from larger kennels that may not have the manpower to utilize each dog’s potential, or they enter our yard with physical issues or personality “quirks”. Every year as our season begins, the dogs begin to settle down and develop into a cohesive unit, which I feel both honored and humbled to observe.
Mushing is a very demanding sport, both physically and mentally. Sled dogs develop different skills in a team; they learn how to pace themselves, determine snow conditions, conserve energy at a rest stop, and match strides with their running partners.
The most important animals are the leaders; they run up front and keep an eye on the trail ahead. Lead dogs keeps the lines taunt when stopped, distinguish and turn left or right at a vocal command, march through obstacles such as open water, and generally keep the team in order. They are the glue, the dynamos, and they can make or break a dog team. My lead dogs for 2009 are Judo and Lily. Judo is around 35lbs and provides both brains and drive. Bred by Bonnie Gamble of Runner Rider Kennels, she is tough, hardworking, and never slacks off. Lily is very nearly the complete opposite. Bred by the Joinson family of Bar King Sled Dog Adventures, she takes nothing seriously and is a ball of hyper activity at all times. Thankfully, they enjoy running together. I guess opposites do attract!
When in training, my dogs run 5 days a week at distances that range from 6-40 miles a run. With such a high-stress, high-demand sport, top nutrition is needed to ensure that the dogs can perform fully and comfortably. After switching over to CANIDAE Grain-Free Salmon Formula, the mood and ability of my animals markedly improved over the course of only a few weeks. Excellent weight, thick, lustrous coats, improved endurance and heart rates, calm demeanors and firm stools became the order of the day. We still feed some raw meats, but most mushers do this to bait water and add a little extra fat. As snacks, we mash up CANIDAE canned food and roll it into “meatballs”, freeze, and feed on the trail. We also add this mash to warm water as bait. CANIDAE makes up the bulk of our diet and I am confident in recommending this to other racers as a top performance formula. After a long run many mushers struggle to entice their animals to eat, but with such excellent palatability CANIDAE makes that job easy. We feel very honored and grateful to be part of the CANIDAE team.
Laura Vinnedge and… Platty, Chevy, Oreo, Judo, Rosebud, Emily, Jasper, Jake, Lily, Chaos and Butch (the retired one)
Although Pumba didn’t make his “official” Splash Dogs dock-jumping debut until 2007, we’ve had a water dog since the start. At 9 weeks, he surprised us all with a not so graceful swan dive into our backyard pool… sinking straight to the bottom. Today, thanks to hours with trainer (and doggy daddy) Ryan and a sturdy, vigorous body thanks to CANIDAE, the only thing Pumba is sinking is the competition!
Pumba is a 3 year old chocolate Lab who thinks knows he is a human purebred. We were surprised when by 6 months, Pumba suffered from multiple inner ear infections and seemed to be undergoing pre-mature baldness. A full body rash had caused him to tear the hair from his arms, legs and belly. Trips to the vets, allergy testing, hundreds of dollars and even a hypoallergenic dog bed did nothing to ease his symptoms.
We were on a first name basis with local pet shops and specialty stores as we sampled foods over the next 6 months to no avail. Enter CANIDAE… HOORAY! Cheers from Pumba’s human parents!
The all-natural, holistic ingredients have made all the difference. Our struggles with allergies, ear infections, weight-control and coat maintenance are a distant memory. Pumba’s diet of CANIDAE Grain Free Salmon formula ensures he stays in top form.
In the dock-jumping circuit, Pumba is a crowd favorite – aptly nicknamed Shamu for his whale-sized splashes. CANIDAE gives him the energy to compete in both the Super Air and Super Vertical competitions at Splash Dogs.
2009 was a big year for our family — Pumba’s first jump in Pro Class! And, oh yea, we had a baby too. In his “free time” Pumba is a philanthropist, making appearances for the Helen Woodward Animal Center annual Dog Surf-a-Thon. Pumba is also a Pisces and enjoys long walks on the beach.
Troy & Murphy
Murphy and I are still having a blast. Murphy’s latest results from Super Retriever Series are now posted and you can view them at www.superretrieverseries.com. Look under the Mankato Event, Amateur class. We also attended the DockDogs event last weekend held at the South St. Louis County Fair.
Murphy took 2nd in speed retrieve and 4th in Big Air. You can see the results posted at dockdogsnorthernstars.com and go under the event category. I have attached a few pictures of us for your review. We are so thankful we found CANIDAE.
Murphy’s performance has increased progressively at each event and his stamina is untouchable. Murphy has always had a beautiful coat, and now along with his coat he seems to shed less on CANIDAE. I noticed that Murphy was always a little slower following one of our events in the past, he now is just as perky and ready to go on Monday as he was prior to an event.
Ihad the banner up that you sent me at the South St. Louis County Event and we had a few people stop by and pick up a brochure. I sent them your way for more information.
UPDATE: December 2009 – We finished up strong in 2009 and are already making plans for 2010. Our first event is the Twin Cities Pet Expo on March 6th and 7th at the Minneapolis Convention Center here in Minnesota. Thanks for all you do for us, and thanks again for the Snap-Biscuit treats — our other two dogs love them as well!
Troy & Murphy
Jeff Wright / Flying Houndz Frizbee
Why We Thrive on CANIDAE: We have six high flying Frisbee trick dogs who are serious athletes. I have done extensive research to determine my dogs’ nutritional needs.
I also have spent a lot of time educating myself through various sources and experts on dog foods and dog food companies. Learning about CANIDAE dog food, its ingredients, where they come from, and where it is manufactured are all important factors to me. CANIDAE staff knowledge of their products and their willingness to assist their customers in any way they can are also very important to me.
It’s easy to put things on a label, but to truly care about your product, what goes into it, and understanding the needs of the consumer and their dogs is what separates an ordinary dog food company from a great one.
CANIDAE is that “great” dog food company that my Border Collies and I have been looking for. The customer service and support, especially the product knowledge, is so valuable to me and my pack of dogs. The choice of ingredients is superior to any on the market and is a perfect fit for the needs of my dogs.
Simply put, CANIDAE is a great dog food for their diet and nutritional needs. Believe me, we have tried many of the top dog foods and none have shown the results for my dogs like CANIDAE has. My dogs not only maintain their energy throughout the day, but they are happy, have beautiful coats, and are gleaming with good nutrition. I am sure of that every time I scoop CANIDAE into their bowls!
When competing in and performing high energy trick disc dog shows, my dogs are always at their best when on CANIDAE. The proof is so obvious: CANIDAE makes them complete!
Jeff Wright, Flying Houndz Frizbee
Oskar, Carly, and Ozzy
Oskar, our now 7 year old German Shorthaired Pointer, not only introduced us to the wonderful world of dog sports but also better dog nutrition. We’ve been competing in dock jumping for 4 years and it has been a great gateway into other sports. However, before we ever started competing, we had come to the conclusion with our vet that Oskar was suffering from food allergies. By process of elimination, we discovered that the culprit was corn. Of course, we had to move to a higher quality food in order to find one without any corn. Over the years we have tried many high quality foods, but none have compared to CANIDAE — we’ve stuck with it since trying it out! Oskar has always been hard to keep weight on but through feeding him a mix of CANIDAE Beef and Fish and CANIDAE Grain Free Salmon he has kept his ideal weight, great muscle tone, and a shiny glossy coat. All of my dogs have done awesome on CANIDAE; they all not only look great but are superb athletes as well.
Oskar got us started in dock jumping, one of the most fun and beginner friendly dog sports out there. He is one of the most consistent jumpers around and has a blast doing it. Carly, our 4 year old Australian Cattle Dog, was a pup when we started into dock jumping and she has grown up in the sport. Even though she’s a breed that would not typically like water, she’s flown as far as 18 feet — not bad for a 23 pound dog! Carly is responsible for bringing us into the world of disc dogs when a couple of world class disc trainers saw me playing disc with her at a dock jumping event. She is an amazing natural, and loves to jam. We are constantly building our freestyle routine and adding new tricks all the time. She’s also a stupid pet tricks extraordinaire, always entertaining the crowds with tricks such as taking my socks off and balancing on my back. We are also currently training to compete in Rally Obedience as well — there’s no limit to what this little dog will add to her repertoire!!!
Oskar has taken more training and time with disc, but he’s becoming quite a disc dog himself as well. While I thought he was just a good Toss and Fetch dog, and too big to do freestyle, he’s surprised me with his abilities once again. We’re working on building a freestyle routine suitable for a large dog. Oskar has also learned how to be a show dog, at the age of seven, in order to help teach me how to be a handler. He can only show in fun matches or shows that offer altered classes as he is fixed, but he has done well every time out. He won Best in Show at his first fun match, beating some UKC Grand Champion dogs on the way! He is a true testament to CANIDAE in how well the food has done for him, it definitely shows!!!
Ozzy, our newest German Shorthaired Pointer, has a busy future ahead of him. We have high hopes for him to follow the United Kennel Club philosophy of the ‘Total Dog’– form and function combined to excel in both the show ring and performance. He has already shown great promise in the show ring by taking two puppy Best in Shows his second weekend out. We plan to show Ozzy in conformation, pointing dog field trials and hunt tests, Rally Obedience, disc, and of course our roots of dock jumping. He has been raised on CANIDAE since we brought him home at 7 weeks old, and as a result of good genes and great nutrition through CANIDAE, he is turning into quite a stunner!
Sara and my furry kids:
GSJCH USUVCH Boogerman Loverboy Oskar CGC, TDI
UJJCH Kamikaze Crashlanding Carly Dingo CGC, TDI
Abbe Lane’s Prince of Darkness (“Ozzy”)
(Photo [right] by Laurie Davis, 4 Paws Imagery)
UPDATE: June 2010 – “Just wanted to let you know how our North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) test went this weekend. Ozzy did amazing. He got a Prize I with a score of 110 — two points from a perfect score!!!!! Prize I is pretty hard to get and judges do not hand them out lightly, so I was ECSTATIC!! He is well on his way to being a really nice hunting dog. Not only does he look good in the ring, but he can do what he was bred to do. Pretty proud of my boy!”
Indian Creek Labs / Carolina Dock Dogs
Indian Creek Labs, located in Goldston, NC, has been breeding AKC Labs for 25 years. We were introduced to CANIDAE Pet Foods by a friend and competitor in Dock Diving. The first time I tried CANIDAE ALS, I had a litter of 10 puppies ready to eat their first solid food. Thank you CANIDAE, I have never had a litter that started on solid food so easy. The great thing about CANIDAE All Life Stages is that it’s great for all ages. The puppies later moved on to their new owners with a bag of CANIDAE ALS.
Team Indian Creek is the name of our Dock Diving Team. The 2007 Team Sir Harley, Princess Nala and Queen Sasha competed in 17 events and traveled 16K miles.
In 2008, we brought a couple of new dogs into competition, Cassie Girl and Mister Bentley, both were young and eager to fly off the dock. 2009 is treating us well, and the only food for Team Indian Creek is ALS. The coats and muscle tone of all our Labs is fantastic! When we arrive at competitions, someone always asks, “What food are you feeding?” I am proud to say CANIDAE All Life Stages.
Again, thank you CANIDAE!! We truly believe great jumps are fueled by your great food. If you would like to learn more about ICL please visit www.indiancreeklabs.com.
Jay and Debbie
Team Indian Creek
Sir Harley, Princess Nala, Queen Sasha, Mister Bentley, and Cassie Girl
UPDATE: July 2010 – Carolina Dock Dogs are great competitors in dock diving who thrive on CANIDAE’s all natural dog foods. The video is from the Great American Dawg Jump held in Watkinsville, Georgia over the July 4th, 2010 weekend. Enjoy!
Great cause! Five minutes after our donation another organization donated $5,000 more. It all adds up!
Thanks CANIDAE for your support!
Team Missy, powered by CANIDAE Grain Free ALS, is a National Dock Diving team comprised of five Yellow Labrador Retrievers, Missy, a five-year-old female, her 2 four-year-old brothers Kasey and Kody and her 2 two-year-old female pups, Katy and Lisa. They have been powered by CANIDAE dog food for over four years and we would like to thank CANIDAE for the development of the Grain Free All Life Stages dry dog food that we now feed. The entire team known as “Team Missy” feed exclusively on this outstanding food, which helps them maintain a healthy physique and beautiful coat. Our vet stated that they are the most physically fit Labs he has ever seen and the food you feed your dog has a lot to do with that. One important point I forgot to mention, they all feed “open bowl.”
The athletic achievements Team Missy has reached are numerous, but at each and every event we are visited by spectators applauding their appearance as well as their dock diving abilities. They inquire as to what we feed our dogs because they love their muscle tone and smooth coat. They are usually astonished when we tell them the dogs, in conjunction with CANIDAE Dog Food, are the ones responsible, as they all eat “open bowl.” This is a definite testament to the value of the ingredients that comprise CANIDAE Grain Free All Life Stages. In addition to our five diving yellow Labradors, we also have a 4 year old chocolate lab who came into our lives at the young age of 7 months.
He had been neglected, was very thin, extremely poor coat with spots of no fur, and a crippled right elbow. Within a few months, Hank was a beautiful, shiny, happy dog – known in the dock diving community as “Happy Hank”. We also have an 11 year-old terrier mix, who can out run most of the labs. His name is Buddy and he is the trainer for all the labs, when they were pups he taught them to run their hardest – he of course was chasing a rabbit or squirrel and they were just trying to keep up with him. Buddy is also a dock diver when he wants to be. The CANIDAE Grain Free All Life Stages is wonderful for Hank and Buddy. CANIDAE Grain Free All Life Stages Dog Food meets all the dogs nutritional needs plus we feel it will improve their quality of life in the later years.
We mentioned before Team Missy’s accomplishments are numerous in the sport of dock diving. During all their achievements and national appearances, there has always been one constant – a bowl of CANIDAE Grain Free ALS Dog Food there to provide for their nutritional needs, and of course they seem to like the way it tastes. The CANIDAE Snap Biscuit treats are also a favorite after a long day of dock diving, or at home just coming in from outside. We believe that CANIDAE is a vital aid in helping Team Missy achieve national recognition in the sport of Dock Diving. Here are a few highlights of the Team’s achievements:
Missy was the first and only dog in this sport to jump 5 times over 23 feet at her first event, then duplicate that two weeks later with my son to become the first dog to achieve an Elite Title with two different handlers. She was then named the Top Yellow Lab in the sport. Missy then set the world record at the time at the Incredible Dog Challenge becoming 2006 World Champion for IDC Dock Diving. She became a “Play of the Day” on ESPN showing off her world record jump. She also had the birth of her pups and their first four months of life as part of a National Geographic documentary titled the “Science of Dogs.”
Missy’s brothers Kasey and Kody were not to be outdone by big sis. Kasey exhibited his outstanding physique while flying off the dock in photos featured in “Sports Illustrated – The Magazine”, and also again flexed his muscles and flying ability on a half page spread in the “In Touch” magazine. Kody on the other hand took a more modern approach with his photos appearing on SI.com (Sports Illustrated) and on numerous web-casts present at the events Team Missy competed at.
Katy and Lisa are Missy’s pups and are they ever crowd pleasers at events, showing off their beautiful build, sweet personality and glimmering coats. They are still young yet but are showing great potential to reach the dock diving abilities of the rest of the Missy crew.
CANIDAE is a part of our team, thank you and we are proud to be part of Team CANIDAE.
UPDATE: July 2010 – After a beautiful 22 hour drive, Team Missy and their big three competitors, Missy, Kasey and Kody, arrived at The Kennel Shop in Scarborough, Maine where they met up with CANIDAE Sales Manager John Grosse and his family. The weather was gorgeous and the parking lot was full when Team Missy arrived for a weekend of dock diving. Kasey turned in an awesome performance, coming in fourth out of 147 entrants.
One day two, Missy showed off her beautiful coat and physique as well as her strength as she pulled off a seventh place finish. Missy has been in the sport for 6 years now and is still going strong on CANIDAE Grain Free All Life Stages formula. The Team Missy crew spent the time between jumps visiting with Team CANIDAE “East Coast” at the CANIDAE booth where they all offered free samples of healthy, natural, holistic CANIDAE food and treats to the excited crowds. Everyone had a blast! On the last day, Kody, who had been taking it easy, decided to concentrated on jumping. When all the splashes had settled he had pulled off a first place win and presented Team CANIDAE East Coast with a beautiful first place ribbon!
Bad Labs is a very proud member of the CANIDAE Team. Jesse is our 3 year old chocolate Lab that switched to CANIDAE All Life Stages at 10 months old because we were not happy with the results from our ‘breed-specific’ food. Since we’ve made the switch, the results have been amazing. People are constantly complementing us on her coat and stature. We believe that her diet and strict training regimen are the reasons for her awesome results on the dock. In our first season of Dock Diving competition she became Canada’s top female competitor and Canada’s top chocolate lab. She consistently jumps over 21 feet and is currently Canada’s highest jumping dog.
Our newest member to the team, Ace, is Jesse’s younger brother and at 10 months is already jumping over 20 feet and is getting better and stronger thanks to CANIDAE. Jesse and Ace continue to impress the crowds with both their appearance and their abilities on and off the dock. Team “Bad Labs” would like to thank CANIDAE for all their support, and more importantly for making an awesome product for our ‘Fur-kids’.
Jesse, Ace, Lindsay and Blair
UPDATE: July 2010 – Jesse jumped for the first time since her knee surgery this weekend and won her division. We are so proud of her. Ace also qualified for the Extreme Vertical World finals. Congratulations to Team Bad Labs.
Team Ton 80 Pits
As Panda’s breeder, owner, handler and trainer I take great pride in making sure she has the best care possible. I have discovered not only does CANIDAE All Life Stages make her look great, it also keeps her in exceptional health. She has been competing heavily this year in UKC weight pulling. She has gone from her initial United Weight Puller title on January 2nd, 2010 to her United Weight Puller Champion and United Weight Puller Outstanding titles these last few months. She had an upcoming event this June were she finished her Weight Pull Champion Excellent title. She is currently ranked in UKC Weight Pull All Stars and I hope for her to continue to succeed this year. Her current Personal Best pull on a rail system is 3,681 pounds which was 85.6 times her body weight. She loves this sport very much, wagging her tail the entire time!
Not only does Panda weight pull but she has also competed in the sport of dock jumping, achieving two titles at two different venues. She has a personal best jump of 10 feet 9 inches having only competed three weekends. She has learned vertical and distance jumping and is really getting the hang of it!
She has her Grand Championship for conformation and was ranked in UKCs breed top ten in 2008 as the #7 overall APBT and even after having to be spayed in November 2009 she still wins big taking 8 Best Altered In Show wins in 2 months. In February she obtained her Rally Obedience 1 title and uses her abilities as a licensed Therapy Dog spending some days with my 86-year-old grandfather and her grandmother Lexi, who is my 8-year-old APBT and also a licensed Therapy Dog.
Panda has amounted to amazing things, obtaining 11 titles in different events and she only just turned 4 years old! Next, we are going to try our chances at Lure Coursing! The nutrition given by CANIDAE is above all the rest and I hope to continue to share my stories of Panda! Keep watching also for an upcoming youngster, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Charlie, who will be joining my team later this year!
Jen and Panda
UPDATE: August 2010 – Panda did amazing at Premier! Her All Star Junior Handler pulled Panda for the first time and they took 5th place overall in juniors! Panda then proceeded to win and become the very fist dog to win Altered Best In Show at Premier and took home an additional Reserve Altered Best In Show! Last month Panda has managed to pull her way to finishing her UWPCHX title and jumped HUGE at the Premier Fetch It game with 17 feet, and 15 feet 8 inches in Ultimate Air. Just one week after Premier, Panda jumped again finishing her UJJCH title! The updates were posted for Weight Pull All Stars and Panda is rated #5! I’m very proud of my hard-working little girl. Panda’s name now reads UJJCH UWPO URO1 UWPCHX GRCH Ton 80′s Bamboo Delight tt, CGC, TDI, NJ-N, IDWP1, UPF-WPII.
photo credits: 1st-Digital Anarchy Designs, 3rd -Toy Soldier Kennels, 4th –Thomas Photography
Rock and Ten
I’m a firm believer that to have a happy dog he must be both physically active and mentally stimulated… thus both my dogs are kept active doing things Labs were bred to do like fetch, hunt, swim and retrieve. A healthy dog goes hand in hand with a happy dog. Stimulation, excellent genetics, daily exercise, and the proper high quality nutrition all play a key role. That’s where CANIDAE Natural Pet Foods comes in.
Ten [3rd and 4th pictures], who is our 2 year old male Black Labrador Retriever, has been raised on CANIDAE ALS and is currently on CANIDAE Grain Free Salmon. I was very excited when CANIDAE had introduced its Grain Free Formulas as Ten needed a higher protein diet to support his very active, rigorous field trial and training schedule. Field Trials dogs, such as Ten, are considered to be the Olympic Athletes of dogs sports. In the evening, the boys split a can of CANIDAE Chicken and Rice and always look forward to that added treat. During competitions, when feeding schedules are very difficult to adhere to, I tide them over with CANIDAE Snap-Biscuit treats and use CANIDAE Snap-Bits when training until their normal feeding schedule is resumed.
Why CANIDAE? Because of the natural high quality ingredients and that it works for my dogs. Both my dogs are of ideal weight and muscle tone, maintain high energy levels and stamina, have glossy coats, and my dogs love the taste!! I constantly get complimented and questioned on Ten’s sleek shiny coat and defined muscles and asked, “What do you feed him?” For Rock, I get complimented on his age. People can not believe the dog is 12 years old. He physically and mentally acts and looks like a much younger dog.
Rock has been dock jumping for 6 years. He has been honored with awards and trophies and titled “Top Veteran Dog” for 4 years running with Ultimate Air Dogs and the United Kennel Club (UKC). Rock also competed in the Super Retriever Series (SRS) Crown Championship at age 8 and placed! He has his CH – Champion Title with the UKC in both distance and vertical jumping. Rock is quite a crowd pleaser with his dock antics and well known coined phrase, “woo, woo, shuffle.” He has adorned many newspapers and television newscasts and has his very own dock jumping event on Long Island named in his honor – The Rock Classic!!
For Field Trials, Ten is currently ranked 4th in the Country on the National Derby List for 2010 with 34 US Derby Points, published in the Retriever News. In 2009, he ranked in the Top 10 on the Canadian Derby List by earning 12 points. After aging out of Derby at 2 years old, Ten went right into the Qualifying Stakes placing 3rd and backing it up with a 1st place (very impressive) making him QAA – Qualified All Age to run the higher Field Trial Stakes, including the Limited and Special. Hunt Tests: Ten just obtained his AKC MH – Master Hunter Title at 2 years, 3 months and with his last pass has just qualified to compete at this year’s Master National in California on 10-10-10. Stay tuned for much more on Ten!!
Rock – USUVCH USJCH Rock’s Bay Paddler, TDI, CGC
Ten – USJ SHR Bluenorth’s Rock Hard Ten, QAA, JFTR, MH, WCX, CGC