10 March 2008

Purina IDC = Doggy Olympics

The Purina Incredible Dog Challenge (IDC) is the like the Olympics for dogs. About 60 canine athletes, as small as Jack Russell terriers and as large as Doberman pinschers, competed in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge this weekend at the Star of Texas Fair and Rodeo.

With hundreds of people cheering, music blaring and even an announcer giving the play-by-play, the dogs caught flying discs amid flips and twists; jumped and plunged into pools of water; and raced through obstacle courses.

The competition grew out of the activities people have always done with dogs, such as playing catch and running. Owners train their pets for events such as Diving Dog, a high jump and long jump into a pool, and Freestyle Flying Disc, a souped-up version of Frisbee fetch.

People bring their dogs from across the country to participate in the competition, which is open only to invited dogs and those that qualify in open trials. The winning dogs get medals and automatic entry to the national competition.

On Saturday, six terriers shot across a course and over obstacles in pursuit of a stuffed toy on a string during the Incredible Jack Russell Hurdle Racing, drawing cheers and laughter from the crowd. Jack Russell terriers are natural racers, very active and happy to pursue the lure as it bounces across the course. There is also a 60-Weave Pole Racing, in which the dogs threaded their way through a straight line of poles.

[Source: Statesman.com]