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CBC News: Does your dog possess the qualities of a SuperDog?


Calgary

Josh Woods, production manager and technical director of the President's Choice SuperDog show, along with his SuperDog friend Raza, sat down with Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray Wednesday morning to explain what it takes to reach super-status. 

The manager of the President's Choice SuperDog show says your family pet could qualify

Puff Daddy participates in the SuperDog barrel races at the Calgary Stampede, where the crowd got to see whether big dogs, small dogs or humans were fastest. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Your dog may be cute, but it takes much more than puppy eyes to make it in the world of SuperDogs

But if you own a poodle who can pirouette or a husky that can hurdle, your pup might stand a chance at next month's Calgary SuperDog auditions. 

Josh Woods, production manager and technical director of the President's Choice SuperDog show, along with his SuperDog friend Raza, sat down with Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray on Wednesday morning to explain what it takes to reach super-status. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

Q: Can you tell me about Raza?

A: First of all, Raza is an 11-year-old, red and white border collie. She's been doing SuperDogs for about six or seven years, so she's been doing it for quite a long time. She's beautiful. What makes her super is she is the jack-of-all-trades dog. So she can run fast, she can jump high, she does scent detection, she can do ring stacking skills. She can do everything.

Q: Tell me about the auditions here. How super does a dog have to be to be a SuperDog?

A: A lot of people, you know, think that we have these incredible amazing dogs and they're trained for years, but these are just our family pets. So they travel around with us and we have dogs in different cities that we use as our cast or talent pool. Be we just sort of adapt generic skills and tricks that you would normally do and then we put it into a theatrical, entertaining show. 

Q: What are some of the craziest tricks you've seen in these auditions?

A: I've seen a dog do a backflip. So it's like a bank vault off of a person's chest and obviously they land on their feet.

Q: People really get into this with their dogs, right?

A: It's amazing the following that we have, just in the dog sport training world and trick world. It's huge. 

josh-wood-superdog

Josh Wood, manager of the President's Choice SuperDogs shows, was in the Calgary Eyeopener studio on Wednesday with SuperDog Raza. (CBC)

Q: So you want people to contact you with their with their dog tricks?

A: Yes!

Q: And then what happens? Is it a life of fame and fortune from there?

A:  How it works is they'll submit a video and then we'll invite them to auditions. We're super busy this year around [going to] Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan, and so we'll see what we see. [And when we] have a show going on, we'll contact you and say, "hey, you know we had this show going this weekend or this week" — depending how long the show is — and then invite them out to sort of check it out and come play with us all.

Q: Do you have any sort of specific holes in your show right now that you need dogs to fill? Just so they can practise?

A: We sort of look for dogs that can do multiple things in the show, so we try not to look for a dog that just does one thing. And in terms of holes to fill, we do a lot of high jumping, and we do a lot of weaving in the show, which are standard in the agility world, where basically they're running in between these poles.

Q: You've got the border collie — they're known for being smart dogs that need this kind of thing — but are there other kinds of breeds that are best at this, or will you take anything?

A: We will take anything. The SuperDogs are known for having a wide variety of different breeds. We don't want people to go to a show and see  just border collies doing everything. As you know, some breeds are naturally easier to train than others and whatnot, but we like showcasing that your family dog at home could be a SuperDog. People might not think that their pugs could do this or their beagles or poodles or whatever breed, but any dog is welcome.

Q: So you live with six SuperDogs. I've watched your border collie [and it] wants your attention all the time. Do you spend your whole day patting and rubbing and feeding?

A: Well, it's funny because we have six dogs in the show and each of them have their own personalities. So some like the attention, some like to just sort of have their own space. But they love playing all together in the backyard. I've been ignoring the dog during the interview but it's hard.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VIDEO: #TheMoment Cecil the dog ate $4,000 cash
CBC News: The National

Lucie Edwardson is a reporter with CBC Calgary. Follow her on Twitter @LucieEdwardson or reach her by email at [email protected]

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