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SKYHOUNDZ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP HOSTS DISC-JUMPING DOGS
High-flying, disc-chasing dogs wil l r o mp through Coolidge Park this weekend when the 2018 SkyHoundz World Canine Disc Championship is held.
This is the fifth year the championship has been held in Coolidge Park. Some 150 contestants with an estimated 600 dogs will be at the park Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 22-23.
In the championship, music plays as high- energy hounds and their owners show off their athleticism and bond over displays of dogs catching airborne discs. Pet handlers throw the disc and their hounds sail through the air to catch them. There are always tricks involved — such as a dog running up the back of his squatting owner then leaping into the air — and the highest jumps and best choreography get applause and points.
The championship rounds offer lots of good f amily f un, and t hey are free to watch. The competition includes a youth division for ages 15 and younger. Dogs are grouped into divisions based on size.
There’s no monetary compensation for this weekend’s champions, just bragging rights and a big trophy.
“The sport started back in the early 1970s as Frisbee, the toy, was being developed. Many people said, ‘This is kind of neat; let me throw it to a dog.’ Over time, it turned into this sport that we have now,” says Peter Bloeme, co-founder of the Hyperflite disc used in the competition.
“The best part about the event is playing with your dog in front of an audience and showcasing your dog’s ability,” says Bloeme, who won the 1984 World Championship.
That championship competition had only 12 participants, and everybody was from the United States, he says. Since then the competition has expanded to include competitors from around the world.
Bloeme offers an online free downloadable resource called “This Dog Rocks,” that shows owners how to throw a disc and train dogs for the sport. The resource is available in seven languages at the Skyhoundz website.
Dogs of all breeds and sizes will compete in SkyHoundz World Canine Disc Championship this weekend in Coolidge Park.