by: Shireen Khalil From: Inner West Courier Inner West
It’s hard to believe that the dogs chasing soccer balls, leaping over the high jump and launching themselves into a giant pool at the Sydney Royal Easter Show were once left at animal shelters by owners who couldn’t cope with their bad behaviour.
But thanks to the skills of Dave Graham and his colleagues at the Australian Canine Sports & Training Centre in Box Hill, these problem pooches have been transformed into super dogs and are showing off their amazing skills at the Supercoat Spectacular this week.
In the 30-minute show, more than 70 of the training centre’s dogs display their agility, dancing skills and more.
One of the highlights is DockDogs, where the dogs make a spectacular leap off a 40-foot dock and splash into a 100,000-litre pool.
Some were a little shy about taking the leap but others loved the attention.
Blaze is the national dock dogs champion with a record of 27 feet and four inches.
They also played doggie “soccer”, took to the air for the high jump and performed amazing tricks and stunts.
Aged three years and up, all the dogs in the show were rescued from shelters and have faced difficulties including anxiety, high stress and abandonment.
The Box Hill training centre helps the dogs overcome their behavioural issues through training and bonding, using sports that harness the animals’ natural instincts.
Farmer Dave, who many will recognise as a 2006 Big Brother housemate, said the dogs had been training for the Show non-stop for six weeks.
Having been brought up on a farm and constantly surrounded by dogs, Dave said he wanted to open a centre that celebrated dogs and helped those who weren’t so fortunate.
“It’s hard to believe that the majority of these now confident and capable dogs are originally rescue animals,” he said.
Supercoat Spectacular shows are at the Supercoat Arena, Daily Telegraph Park, on April 15, 16, 17 and 21. Performance times vary, go to eastershow.com.au for details.