Imagine an exciting day of dogs running and diving unfathomable lengths into a pool, or making gravity defying leaps to catch a flying disc. The dogs are beautiful, athletic and eager to do their best. The spectators, both human and canine, watch with mouths open.
If there’s anything more amazing than the dogs competing in the Purina® Incredible Dog Challenge ® it’s that any dog has the potential to be incredible. The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge is open to all breeds, mixed breeds, mutts, and even dogs that started off on the wrong paw in life. It’s Purina’s belief that with proper training, good nutrition and lots of love, any dog can perform the feats of athleticism displayed in competition.
The whole spirit of the Purina® Incredible Dog Challenge® is to find out what’s in your dog, and don’t limit him because of his breed or breed mix. Underdogs can become champions.
Rescue Pit Bull becomes a great disc dog
The Freestyle Flying disc event usually draws the sleeker breeds, but recently a Pit Bull took home top honors at the National Finals. This Pit Bull was a rescue who’d had a rough life. But his new owner decided to channel this dog’s energy into something positive. With love and understanding, and good training, even a stocky Pit Bull can become a phenomenal flying disc dog.
Purina Incredible Dog Challenge Events
The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge has five core events – Incredible Agility, Incredible Head-to-Head 60-Weave Pole, Incredible Diving Dog, Incredible Freestyle Flying Disc and Incredible Jack Russell Hurdle Racing. Obviously the Jack Russell Hurdle Racing is for that breed only, but all the other events are open to any breed or mix. For every event, there are certain breeds that tend to excel at the sport because it appeals to their nature.
Breeds and Dog Types That Excel in Incredible Dog Challenge Events
The water-loving dogs, such as Labs are usually the stars of Dog Diving, and one Lab named Callie dove an astounding 30' 10" in the 2008 finals. But other breeds have nosed in and done quite well. A German Shorthair Pointer had the best jump in the 2007 finals, diving 30’ 4”.
Border Collies and Australian Shepherds are fast and deliberate, so they often rule in Agility. The Weave Poles, where dogs must weave in and out of poles at high speeds, are set at the same spaces apart for all sizes of dogs. While this would seem to favor smaller dogs, larger breeds do great in competition. Recently a Doberman was amongst the top dogs.
Why dogs love competing in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge
Although winning is fun, the dogs are just crazy excited to participate. The dogs love the sports because they get to spend quality time with their owners, please their owners, and they know there’s a reward at the end of each challenge. Participating is a tremendous bonding experience.
Most of the dogs competing in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge are there by invitation. They have competed in other events and have attained a name for themselves. However, any dog has the chance to earn a spot in the Dog Diving and Freestyle Flying disc events by participating in open qualifiers the day before each regional competition. Two novices can normally qualify for each event. But this year, at two regional events, San Diego and Indianapolis, four dogs can qualify for the Dog Diving event. These local dogs compete against the invited dogs. The amazing thing is, sometimes a novice ends up winning.
If you want your dog to jump into sports, and eventually compete in the Purina® Incredible Dog Challenge®, start by joining a local dog sports club in your area. And, whether or not you decide to participate, bring your dog and come as a spectator – or watch it on TV. The Eastern Regionals are August 7 & 8, 2009 at the Indiana State Fair. The finals are at Purina Farms near St. Louis, Missouri on October 3.
For video highlights of the Purina® Incredible Dog Challenge®, click here!