To introduce a brand new concept of all inclusive dog team competitions, dog trainers will take to the ring at National Pet Show (November 4-5) at the NEC for the Undead vs K9 Live Stunt Dog Show.
Ruby Welsford, owner of ClickerTastic training in Daventry, Emma Judson, owner of Canine Consultant – Behaviour and training in the West Midlands, and Jo Law, an Aftercare Trainer for Canine Partners, all have some form of disability and are on a mission to make canine competitions interesting and open to all. They need the support of ethical dog-related businesses for their dream to become a reality.
Emma, who has heart failure as a result of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, says, “We are very practiced at finding ways around problems, and playing to our strengths – and we do the same with the dogs we work with – it’s all about what we can do, not what we can’t.
“We all train dogs and clients regularly and we felt there was something lacking within the dog sports/dog activities world – a sport that would be as inclusive as its possible to be, that also has a heavy focus on dog welfare and rewards people for advocating for their dog.
“The K9 Mission concept was born out of our late night Messenger chats, and then Ruby came up with the idea of producing a stunt show as a trailer, to get people excited and interested – get them enthused about training their dog in a way that is more about teamwork and less about individual egos.”
The very first K9 Mission is “Undead vs K9”, dogs trained to aid their owners in battling the zombie uprising, with other themes to follow.
If this family-friendly event is a success, organisers hope it could lead to a tour around UK dog events in 2018 and beyond. The aim of K9 Mission is to get all dog owners of all abilities involved and motivated in taking part in team competitions, as well as promoting force-free, positive training methods.
K9 Mission will be a series of team based and points based competitions where teams formed of individuals or training clubs, are awarded by an approved set of judges to a set criteria. The competition focuses on skills ranging from agility, obedience, flyball and handling skills, each K9 Mission will involve dogs and their handlers completing a series of tasks suited to that teams skill level. Tasks will include elements of teamwork and also individual performance, with judges able to throw in random ‘wildcard’ events to really test their mettle.
Organisers are looking for financial backing in acquiring props, dog treats and other items needed to make the show a stunning success. If you would like to be part of this amazing project, go to their Crowdfunder page for more details on getting involved.