Chattanooga plays host to the premiere event in canine sports on Sept. 28 and 29.
Preliminary events for the 2013 Hyperflite Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship begin at Camp Jordan in East Ridge on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
The finals for the flying disc dogs will move to Coolidge Park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. McKamey Animal Center is the beneficiary of donations, but admission to the event is free.
Last year's event took place at AT&T Field.
Contestants and their canines earn points for tricks, ranging from simple catches to impressive aerial maneuvers and acrobatics.
If visitors had to pick a specific day to attend, which one shouldn’t we miss?
World championship titles are on the line on both Saturday and Sunday. The most sought-after title is the Open Division World Championship, which takes place on Saturday. Also on that day, the youngsters battle it out for their own world championship title in our Youth Division. If you like smaller dogs, then Sunday is your day, when the micro-dogs scrap for top-dog status. Also on Sunday, our most crowd-pleasing event—pairs freestyle—takes place. Teams of two throwers and one canine compete in choreographed freestyle routines that have been a crowd favorite since the event was added to the world championship in 2005. Not to be outdone, Sport Division teams will also be racing to complete successful catches in the exciting distance/accuracy event.
What kind of dog is great at this? Any specific breeds or things to look out for?
Any well-trained and athletic canine can be a world champion, regardless of breeding. Animal shelter mutts are as likely to win as the retrieving and herding breeds that are popular with many enthusiasts. In the end, it's all about training, dedication and desire, and the bond that comes from a true team effort.
I've got a dog here that might be good at this; where do I start? Just some initial training?
Any dog can learn to catch a flying disc, and there is no better exercise for your canine. Whether you want to enter the exciting world of canine competition or just have fun with your canine in the backyard or at a nearby park, getting started is simple. Visit Skyhoundz for tons of helpful tips and training suggestions. You can also download a free digital book ("Disc Dogs Rock!") from the iBookstore.
Hyperflite is to canine disc competitions as Callaway is to golf. How do you remain the "go-to" disc?
The modern canine athlete is a wonder to behold—blazing speed combined with powerful leaping and the intuition and intelligence to react to changing conditions on the playing field. Hard work and dedication are required for a canine to reach the Skyhoundz world championship. Such effort is deserving of an equal measure of engineering and technological support from a canine disc manufacturer. Innovation is at the core of Hyperflite's existence, and the discs we create are designed to help the world's best canines excel in competition. Whether it's the Jawz disc for hard-biting hounds or our new patent-pending X-Flash Anti-Glare finish, canine disc enthusiasts have come to expect that Hyperflite will have solutions that make their jobs easier.
Jeff, tell me about how you got into this sport.
While in law school, I adopted a bulldog/pointer mix from an animal shelter in Macon, Ga. Gilbert was full of energy that often manifested itself in "less-than-ideal ways." His destructive tendencies were signs of a dog that just needed an outlet for a surplus of nervous energy. The disc solved his behavioral problems and soon became his favorite object. Like most dogs, Gilbert became obsessed with the flying disc, and that obsession led us to competition, where we ultimately won a world championship title in 1989.
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