Sydney Dog Lovers Show – celebrating our four-legged friends

With a whole bunch of cute canines all under one “wroof”, it’s a dog lovers’ paradise!

18 Aug 2015 By Eleanor Comments

This weekend, dog lovers all across Sydney came together to celebrate their pooches and pups. The annual Dog Lovers Show, held at Hordern Pavilion brought families, friends, coupes and more out of their homes and into the winter sunshine. These were people from all walks of life who shared one very important thing in common: they LOVE dogs.

At the Rose-Hip Vital Arena, spectators gathered to watch Dr Katrina Warren and the Wonderdogs; Extreme Frisbee–Canine Edition—and Flyball.

Flyball is like drag racing for dogs. Teams, consisting of four dogs, take it in turns to run across the pitch, snatch a ball from the backboard, and then sprint back to the start before their team mate hurtles past. Flyball works as a relay with the fastest team declared the winner.

Skye (a chocolate Collie) and Paris (a Foxie cross) were particularly fast. Paris showed amazing technique, using what has been termed the “swimmer’s turn” on the backboard as it resembles a swimmer twisting round and pushing off to complete another length. A swimmer’s turn helps the dogs not to loose speed during the turn around.

All the dog handlers used positive reinforcement – enticing their puppies with their favourite treats and toys. Tug toys are a particular favourite as they help to excite the dogs and lead them down the course.

The person at the end of the pitch must understand each dog’s individual needs. Some dogs turn right off the backboard and some dogs turn left. The person at the end has to know their dog’s preference so that they can position the ball correctly.

Dogs of any age can play flyball. The oldest dog in the arena was 14 years old. The seasoned flyball veterans included Pedro and Harley, and Skittles and Princess. The two teams were neck and neck until Skittles dropped the ball. Literally dropped the ball. And unfortunately a dog has to carry its prize the whole length of the course in order for the relay to be successful. Better luck next time Skittles!

If you fancy getting your pooch playing flyball, there are many flyball teams across Australia who welcome dogs of all breeds and ages.

To mark the 100-year anniversary of the ANZAC spirit, this year saw a special tribute to the Australian Military Working Dogs. The Tribute Stage was used the highlight the history of our four-legged diggers and their incredible true stories of canine courage.

Lieutenant Corporal George Hulse RAE spoke to the crowd about the Canine Service Medal, awarded for five years of service. The Australian government doesn’t permit medals to be awarded to animals, therefore the designs of the canine medals differ completely to human medals. The band is multicoloured and the medallion square.

To help raise money to fund the training of future military dogs, purple poppies were sold in remembrance of our doggy diggers, as well as the auction of a gorgeous painting of our illustrious working dogs. By Sunday afternoon the bid sat at $6000 dollars. Can we hear $9000? Any takers?

Over by the KONG Celebrity Vet Stage one of Australia’s most beloved vets Dr Harry Cooper, along with Dr Katrina Warren and other doggie doctors, was offering advice to a crowd of pet lovers.

Dr Harry told the eager listeners. “If you want a dog to stop licking you, spray yourself with perfume. Dogs don’t like the taste of alcohol”. He also spoke about current obesity trend in dogs. “Treats are fine,” he said, tipping his iconic hat. “But you have to subtract that from their meals. You also have to stick to the rules when it comes to doggy diet food. If it says one scoop, it’s one scoop. Don’t think you can give them more just because its says the word ‘diet’.”

A woman stuck up her hand to ask about her recently acquired and rather restless Border Collie. Dr Harry has owned several Border Collies in his lifetime, and attributes Border Collies’ popularity in Australia to his own Collie, Rosie, who starred on Harry’s Practice. When Rosie passed away Dr Harry received over 12 000 letters from the Australian public, devastated at the dog’s passing. He has kept them to this day.

“Everybody loves the cute factor of Border Collies,” he began, “however half the dog problems that I’m sent to solve involve working dogs in suburbia.” Dr Harry lives on acreage, giving the dogs plenty of space to exercise and sheep to herd—ultimately a working dog needs to get the proper amount of exercise, otherwise it will become restless. In Dr Harry’s experience, most of these working dogs in suburbia have had to be relocated in order for the dog to be happy.

By far the most common question was regarding fleas. If you have a black long-haired dog how do you find the fleas? Dr Harry’s trick is to use a white bed sheet. “Lay it down where the dog sleeps and leave it there for two nights,” he instructs. Then pick it up by the four corners and shake it a little so that all the debris falls down into the centre. What you’re looking for is black dots. Most people assume that these dots are flea eggs, however it is actually flea poo. (WARNING FOR SQUEAMISH READERS: the poo is black because it is partly digested blood).

“You can’t see 95% of the fleas in your house because they’re larvae and eggs”. Flea larvae eat the “manure” of its parents in order to gain nutrients. Dr Harry’s tip on getting rid of them is to “break the life cycle”. Fleas don’t go on holiday, so controlling medication and spray must be used all year round. Take the eggs out of the equation and there are no new fleas biting at your ankles. The life cycle is broken.

The Kissing Booth, Pat-A-Pooch zone, Perfect Match booth (for finding the canine you’ve been dreaming of), and Ask-A-Vet zones were some of the show’s most popular attractions. Throughout the day dog lovers could speak to breeders, pooch photographers, find samples of doggy cuisine, or clothing for pampered pups.

If you love dogs, the Dog Lovers Show is heaven on earth.


Did you visit the Sydney Dog Lovers Show? Share your thoughts in the Comment section below.

18 Aug 2015 By Eleanor Comments

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