Thursday, August 18, 2016

Team Vader At 'Bark For Life' Tournament In Benicia


This upcoming Saturday, August 20th, 2016, Disc Dog Vader and the team will be participating in the Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate event called "Disc Dogs Against Cancer" being held in Benicia, CA, at Benicia Middle School, located at 1100 Southampton Rd., Benicia, California 94510.

The weekend in Benicia is dedicated to the fight against the evil scourge of the earth, cancer, where they will be raising awareness and money for the fight.

On Friday night, there will be a "Relay for Life of Benicia" walk fundraiser, starting at 6pm, at Benicia Middle School.

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Then on Saturday, there will be a human/dog event, where DDoGG will be holding our tournament, in association with a Bark for Life event:

"The American Cancer Society Bark For LifeTM is a noncompetitive walk event for dogs and their owners to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society's fight against cancer.

By supporting Bark For Life, you help the American Cancer Society save lives, and that helps us move closer to our ultimate goal of a world with less cancer and more birthdays."

If you're in the Benicia area, come on out for the fun, or support of the fight.

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A few weeks later, Team Vader, with the demo team from The Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate will be out in San Francisco performing a disc dog demo for another Bark for Life event. Last year's exceeded their fund raising goals while they were still at the park.

This event, on August 27th, will be at Hellman Hollow, 750 John F. Kennedy Drive, in SF.

So if Benicia's event this upcoming Saturday is too far away, but SF might be doable, then we'll see you there, performing our high flying freestyle stunts, as normal.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Dogs And The Fourth of July, Take Protective Measures


In a nutshell, if your dog does not like fireworks, keep them indoors for the few days leading up to July 4, and maybe even a day after. And microchip or double check that your microchip info is up to date. Just in case.

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The Fourth of July is coming and most dog custodians know that with July 4th, some dogs can get pretty frightened or skiddish from the loud bangs going off in the sky all around them.

To dogs, fireworks are unnatural, shocking, and downright scary. Like the sky itself is barking at them and ripping apart. And that ain't right!

The sad and scary part of this entire process is that it's not just the fourth of July you have to worry about, but the week leading up to and possibly a few nights after the holiday.

That's because sometimes people feel the need to 'practice' with their big loud bang-makers before the big night. And for me, that's when I think some dog owners can be at the most risk, those days leading up to the fourth and not expecting it. A peer of mine in the disc dog world lost his dog to testing that took place a few nights prior to the 4th. And if a well trained disc dog can be impacted by this stuff, you do the math.

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When fireworks and the like go off animals can react in different ways. Some don't care one bit. (If you're lucky.) Others will freak a bit, looking around, wondering what the hell is that!? Others will bolt for parts unknown in the house, hide under things or what not. They'll shake and shiver, possibly thinking the world is ending.

We know the world isn't ending. They don't.



Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer is Coming, Be Smart And Protect Our Dogs


The summer heat is here in full force today and I am tired of seeing FB posts and the like of reports of dogs in hot cars with the windows cracked an inch.

To The Dog Custodians Out There:


Personally, I'd like to see how you feel about sitting in the same car with your dog, with the windows opened a crack when it's 90 outside, with no shade or wind?

To be honest, "cracked" open windows and thoughtless statements like "They'll be fine" are mindless thoughts from ignorant dog custodians. Period.  Did you know that rolling down the windows a bit HAS ZERO EFFECT on the environment inside the car?

Did you know that your dog can suffer heat stroke or brain damage and can even die from a mere 15 minutes of roasting in a car? But it's "OK?" I love the famous line, I will only be gone a couple of minutes. Have you ever timed yourself and your store visits?

When the temperature is:

  • 78-degrees outside, it can get up to 100-120 degrees in the car.
  • On a 90-degree day, it can get up to 160 degrees in about 10 minutes.

And that's what you leave your dogs in?

The fix to this is to leave your pups at home. They can't expel heat like we can, so the effects of heat builds up faster in them. That's because they're primary cooling process is panting. But when they pant hot breath back out into the hot car you just left them in seems like more of a punishment or cruel trap.

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To the Dog Humanitarians out there:


First, I never want to hear that "I had ice cream in the car, so I could not stay." posted to FB if someone sees an animal in distress. OMG, so an innocent life may cease and suffer horrendously before it dies, because you did not want your ice cream to melt!? Sometimes events take precedence over moments.


Monday, June 13, 2016

The 2016 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regionals

Bruce and Disc Dog Vader at the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge

This is our experience participating in the 2016 Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge (PPPIDC) western regional event held in Huntington Beach, CA.

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This year Vader & I decided to try and participate in the PPPIDC western regional event held in HB, CA. When all was said and done, it ended up becoming one heck of a learning experience, that's for sure.

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Due to some scenarios in the week leading up to the event, we ended up leaving home at midnight (Thursday night) and arrived in time to line up for registration for the qualifier that was taking place on Friday morning. The qualifier for the Flying Disc Dogs was limited to the first 15 participants and the top two finishers (or more, at the sponsor's discretion) would go on to the competition showcase on Saturday.

I was pretty nervous at first when I arrived, signed up and gave them my USB stick with my music, but as more competitors for my division showed up, my nerves went away. That's because some of the top-tier competitors in the sport were showing up to participate in the qualifier I was eyeballing.

Vader, the disc dog, surveying the PPPIDC competition field

With my nerves calmed, I was able to relax and enjoy the experience of being here and competing/playing on this famous Purina Pro Plan IDC venue.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Team Vader's Galt Strawberry Festival Report & Our Next Appearance


Team Vader headed out to Galt, CA, for their annual Strawberry Festival last weekend. It was fun for all where we were a part of two shows, with perfect weather and a great setup. We had a blast.

The fun of it was that this time around, Lark participated in her first full blown freestyle routine, while Rue had an opportunity to showcase her "skills," so to speak.


Before you ask, Lark has participated in previous demos, but she's the go-to dog for showing spectators how to get their dog started in the world of disc dog play, whether it be for fun or the sport. She's really good at showing off the basics of how to get started.

But this time around, with her own FS moment she got her own theme song music going (Flo Rida, Wild Ones) and had a minute of show-off time!


Of course Vader did his usual thing, but with a little bit more pizazz. He had the zoomies while doing the routine!

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Rue's Kingdom, the Director's Chair

But for us, the star of the show was Rue! It was her first time out and being a part of a demo and she was going to be part of the disc dog races.


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Skyhoundz New Dog Disc Rule Restrictions And What You Need To Know


In case you have not heard the news yet and are preparing to or contemplating the idea of competing in a Skyhoundz event, you might want to know that as of July 1st, 2016, Skyhoundz (SH) events will now only allow you to compete with Hyperflite (HF) discs in their events.

The bottom line is that it is what it is and you can either get on board or not. It's your call. If you live in a SH zone where that's the only kind of competitions you can get to, you probably need to just deal with it and move on. Disc restrictions are nothing new. But they are new from SH.

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This new rule has sparked quite the conversation out there among the disc dog enthusiasts of the world. The reactions have ranged from hostile, to disgruntled, to resignation, while others are irked by the timing of this change, being that it comes in mid-season.  Some have called this extortion, while others are accepting of the change.

As I see it, it is what it is. If my disc dog Vader finds himself facing a potential competition hosted by SH, we'll have to dig a bit deeper in our pockets to buy discs we don't normally use.

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If you are looking to compete but don't use HF discs, here's a quick list (The images are Amazon links):

Their Competition Standard Disc comes in Orange, Pink, White or Yellow and costs $4.35 a piece on their website. It has an 8.75" diameter and weighs around 105 grams

They also sell the classic Fastback Frisbee Disc with the HyperFlite Skyhoundz logo on it. It measures out at 9 5/16" and weighs around 104 grams.

There's also their brand new Hyperflite Zdisc, which comes in red, purple, blue and white. It too costs $4.35 a piece. it measures out at a 9.25" diameter and weighs in at 114 grams.

COMPARE THESE HF disks to the popular Hero Disc USA "Hero Xtra 235s"

The Hero Xtra 235 comes in white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and pink. Orange is the hugely popular color. I know because if I don't time it right, I find myself being told they are out of stock on that color after the season starts.

These disks weight 105 grams, +/- 2 grams and the diameter of the discs are 235mm*.  They cost $4.99.

Unless you buy the blems, but that's for another story.

*Oh, 235mm equates to 9.25197 inches. This is the same size as HF's new Zdisc.

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Many competitions I attend allow use the 235s.


Vader prefers the Hero Disc USA Super Aero K9 Candy that weigh 111 to 116 grams and have the same dimensions as the 235 discs, 2135mm.

I use Hero Xtra 235s to practice out on the field without my dog. The K9 Candy discs have withstood his hard bite for over a year's worth of constant use while other discs come apart within a week of use. The blems cost half as much.

I went through a lot of discs and money trying to find one my disc dog likes and when I put different discs down on the ground, he'll always choose the Super Aero K9 Candy discs and literally throws the others to the side of the pile.

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Who this new rule from Skyhoundz impacts can vary, depending on your perspective.

Each manufacturer has their own spin, rules and restrictions on the sport and players need to adapt from one to the other. There is no universal consistency. There is no one board of directors, so to speak.

HF says they've been restricted from events as other hosts have disc requirements.

The other folks this change could impact are the sponsored players. Will Hero Disk players continue to participate in HF events, but just wear their sponsor's shirts while using HF discs? In my experience a sponsored athlete has unique restrictions on what they can do, use and even wear.

Another category of player this will impact is the budget restricted player. There are those that love this sport and have spent what they can on what they have and this new required expenditure could limit their participation.

Or it can impact the player who just days before this change was announced, ordered a few hundred discs of another brand. Now what? For both club or player?

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Be it as it may, the official rules from Skyhoundz states,

"Competition Discs (effective from July 1, 2016)

Skyhoundz has selected Hyperflite flying discs as the official flying discs of Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championship Series. As such, at all Skyhoundz competitions (including, but not limited to, Local Championships, State Championships, DiscDogathon Qualifiers, Skyhoundz Classic Qualifiers, Xtreme Distance Qualifiers, DiscDogathon World Championship, Skyhoundz Classic World Championship, and Xtreme Distance World Championship), competitors are required to use Hyperflite discs. "


Monday, May 16, 2016

Team Vader At DDoGG "Tournament Day in May" Event

You  ready Vader? I am ready Bruce!

Disc Dog Vader and the rest of Team Vader showed up in San Ramon, CA, for Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate tournament called "Tournament Day in May." It was wonderful weather and there was a great turnout at this event!

Run Lark, run like the wind!!!

Lark and Vader were competing, but my throwing wasn't too great when Lark and I were up. In one round I had a photographer in the way and Lark didn't like him in her way and she let the disc land.  That was my bad because I threw that disc about 40 or 50 feet beyond the end of the 120-foot long field. Oops. Poor Lark!