Friday, August 15, 2014

Vader's New Friends At Niles

Today Vader went swimming at Niles, in Fremont.  We met Lucy, a burly and fun black lab. We also made a new friend in Piper, a fellow herder breed! :)

We talked to Piper's dad and learned that Piper just might like dock diving and from the sounds of things, could very well be a fellow disc dog too! Yay.

So Bruce told Piper's dad about all the different fun places and things that might come with playing with a disc dog.

We told them about Doggone Dirty Dock Diving and what a fun place that is.

We told them about our disc dog club, Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate.

And we told him about places to get dog discs from, like Hero Disc USA. Dog discs are a softer type of disc with thinner lips so dogs can get their teeth around the edge.

Discs: These are the more common kinds of discs fellow competitors use, (the following images are links to Hero Disc USA's Amazon offerings.), these discs are misprints of Hero Air 235s, the most commonly used disc in the world of disc dog competitions.


But if your dog is a heavy biter, like Vader, where he can destroy a disc in a week or so, we've found these Super Aero's survive Vader's power jaws much better and still fly almost as, if not better than (depending on the thrower) the other disc.


The above discs are "blems" or "misprints," which are offered at a steep discount versus the perfect discs they sell. Also, when ordering blems, you don't a choice in color. You get what you get.

If you're curious about our journey to being Freestyling Disc Dog team, you can check out the featured article over on Bay Woof, that came out this month!

Here's pics from today's fun at Niles... it's always awesome to meet great people, dogs, oh, and turtles too.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Who Started This Sport of Disc Dogs?

Vader, the Disc Dog and the history of the sport of Disc Dogs

(first published Fri, May 2nd, 2014:)

I don't know about you, but as I get more involved in getting better with Vader and our disc routines, I get more exposed to folks in the sport with their dogs. 

But I started wondering about the history of this sport or more specifically, why I am experiencing the occasional claw in the back of the neck and oozing vital life fluids?

I started to wonder just how far back one has to go to see the first disc dog performance or information?  Did kings and queens have some kind of realm of entertainment with discs and dogs?  Will there be silent films or sepia tone pics of men in suits throwing discs for their dogs between fox hunts?

It seems the origins of the sport may not be quite that romantic.

Believe it or not the sport of disc dogs became a public thing in 1974.  Or at least, the world caught on that there was something to it on August 5th, 1974, when a 19-year-old, named Alex Stein broke into a nationally televised baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, with his dog, named Ashley Whippet, and started doing tricks on the field.

How did this come about?

A few years before that night, a young man, a college student named Alex Stein received a dog as a gift from a girlfriend, and according to sources, when his dog was at a ripe young age of 3 weeks old, Alex figured his dog would be famous.  He named him Ashley Whippet.

While he was a puppy, Alex weened him using Frisbees to feed him.  Then as the dog got older and Alex would throw a disc, the dog would go after it, thinking FOOD!

What's astounding is that at the ripe young age of 6 months, Ashley was reported to be able to get 12 feet in the air to catch discs. 

{Safety Thought:

Now-a-days, there are restrictions on young dogs in competitions so they do not injure their growth plates at an early age.  A growth plate injury might not be evident right away, but will make its presence known in latter years.}

Aside from that, Alex spent a lot of time taking his pup to the college greens every day and having fun while crowds gathered.  (One of my favorite things to do is to hit up the Stanford quad and play with Vader.)


Back to that Televised Baseball Game Audition...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Update from San Ramon DDotGG Event

Update from Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate Aug 3rd event!

It would seem that even though we were concerned for Vader's well being and recovering from his injury, he seems to have no ill effects (that we can see immediately) from competing yesterday.

We only competed in the Pro (Toss and Catch) Division and we were able to do so as two teams, Bruce and Vader, and Amy and Vader.

Despite taking a few weeks off, Vader did spectacularly, in combination with my practicing like a mad dog over the last few weeks and Amy just getting better and better as the days go on.

In our division Vader and I scored a 25-point day after two rounds of 11 and 14 points. That's a pretty big scoring day for our efforts.

2nd place had 18 points and Amy and Vader came in third with 13 points for the day.

All in all, it was a fun day, with no discernible limping afterwards from Vader. We're still keeping a close eye on him and will have some moderate practices, being as how we're headed to Sonoma this Sunday for a demonstration at another baseball game.

To be honest, I enjoyed competing in the Pro division.  When Vader and I broke out of the Novice division last year we only competed once in the Pro division and then we started doing the Open division (freestyle and T&C).  And so just having two rounds of Toss and Catch was rather fun and I think I may stay in the Pro division for a few more events before getting back into the world of the Open division.  We'll see. But just in case, I guess notice has been served!  -Bruce