by Jeff Perry
Most dogs, and especially athletic canines like border collies, Australian shepherds, labs and cattle dogs, require vigorous exercise. Shortchange an energetic canine in the exercise department and you just might bid farewell to anything from sheetrock to sofas. Being highly intelligent creatures, dogs have a knack for “communicating” to you via your most valuable or cherished possessions. A chewed up pair of shoes says, “hey, you haven’t walked me in two days.” Damage that escalates to a large piece of furniture or family heirloom might signal even more desperate attempts at communication. Pay attention, because your canine is telling you that even angry attention from you is better than no attention at all. Once more for emphasis – a bored dog is a destructive dog.
Perhaps you have a busy schedule, or the weather has been less than ideal. Maybe you don’t have time to take Phydeaux on a two-mile walk everyday. And throwing that slimy tennis ball just doesn’t jazz you like it used to. There’s an easy solution to your dilemma … and here’s the good part – it only takes a few minutes of your precious time. It may seem unbelievable, but with only 10 minutes of canine disc play, you can obtain the exercise and mental stimulation equivalent of several miles of leash walking.
Canine disc sports are as popular as ever, and thanks to modern technology and space-age polymer formulations, canine disc play is more affordable than ever. In the dark ages, competitors with hard-biting dogs might go through half a dozen discs in a single practice session. Many enthusiasts just couldn’t afford to participate in a sport that cost five or ten dollars every time it was played. Things changed about eight years ago, when a new flying disc company, Hyperflite, decided to fly in the face of thirty-plus years of the status quo. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, Hyperflite reinvented canine disc sports by developing an ultra tough, competition quality puncture-resistant disc called the Jawz.
Let’s say you’ve gone out and picked out a disc that you and Phydeaux approve of. What next? As with any endeavor, the most difficult part is getting started in the first place. You can visit the Hyperflite website at www.hyperflite.com for some basic tips on how to get started with canine disc play. For more detailed guidance, Hyperflite has created “Disc Dog Training DVD” (an hour-long training DVD) and Disc Dogs! The Complete Guide (358 pages, 500 color photographs). These training offerings are widely-acclaimed instructional tools that feature guidance from canine disc world champions. Disc Dog Training DVD and Disc Dogs! The Complete Guide are perfect tools for beginners as well as for more accomplished enthusiasts who want to improve their skills. And speaking of improved skills, you and Phydeaux may have so much fun at the park with your new-found hobby, that the competitive juices may begin to flow. When that happens, you may want to participate in the Skyhoundz World Canine Disc Championships, the largest disc dog competition series in the world. For a competition schedule and rules, visit www.skyhoundz.com. Skyhoundz local competitions are free and represent a wonderful opportunity to introduce your canine to the fastest game on four paws!
You owe it to your pet to give canine disc sports a try. Remember, a bored dog is an expert at communication – but it may not be the kind of communication that you want to hear.
Reprinted with permission from Hyperflite, Inc. www.hyperflite.com.
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About the Author
Hyperflite co-founder Jeff Perry and his mixed-breed, animal shelter adoptee, Gilbert won the 1989 Canine Disc World Championship in Dallas, Texas. Prior to taking the World title, Perry and Gilbert won the Southeast Regional Championship for three consecutive years. Gilbert and Perry went on to be featured on NBC’s top-rated “Today Show,” along with numerous appearances on CNN and ESPN and other national and international media over the years. As a member of the ALPO Canine Disc Celebrity Touring Team, Perry was a media spokesperson for the 10-year period in which ALPO sponsored the Canine disc Championships.
Throughout the years, in countless interviews and public appearances Perry has extolled the virtues of adopting shelter animals. According to Perry, shelter mutts make wonderful companions and great disc dogs.
Perry and his canines have performed hundreds of times before sold-out stadium crowds at professional football and baseball games all over the world. Internationally, Perry has performed before huge crowds at Olympic Stadiums in Berlin and Barcelona and has made public appearances in Canada, China, Spain Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Gilbert and Perry were featured entertainers at the prestigious “Colare de Oro,” the Italian equivalent of the Westminster dog show.
While performing in Japan, Perry met the Crown Prince and Princess of Japan (the future emperor and empress of Japan) after one of more than 200 shows that he performed in Japan over a five-month period at the Animal Kingdom in Nasu. While in Japan, Perry and his dog Cosmic K.D. also entertained thousands of spectators in the Tokyo dome.
From 1990 to 2005, Perry served as the Chief Judge of the World Canine Disc Championships.
Perry, along with Peter Bloeme and Greg Perry, co-founded Hyperflite in 2000 and, shortly thereafter, designed and patented the revolutionary K-10 disc, the first canine disc designed exclusively for canine competition.
Perry, along with Peter Bloeme, co-produced the internationally-acclaimed Disc Dog Training DVD, the top-selling disc dog training DVD of all time. In addition, Perry co-wrote Disc Dogs! The Complete Guide, the most authoritative book ever written on canine disc sports.
In his spare time, Perry also serves as a Contributing Editor for Flying Disc Magazine.
A strong proponent of the health and fitness benefits of canine disc play for dogs and owners, Perry founded one of the first canine disc clubs in the country. Over the years, Perry has taught countless canine-disc aficionados to throw flying discs and helped even elite-level competitors improve their throwing abilities.
In addition to his canine disc activities, Perry still finds time to engage in some of his other favorite pursuits, climbing, backpacking and flying. Perry, a skilled pilot, has flown powered aircraft and hang gliders for more than 25 years and has logged more than 2000 hours in many types of aircraft. In fact, his aeronautical experience and understanding of aeronautical principles were instrumental in the design of the Hyperflite K-10 disc.
Perry received a Bachelor of Science degree (B.S.) in Journalism from the University of Maryland, a Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) from Mercer University and a Master of Laws in International Law (LL.M.) from the University of Miami.