Dock dog headed for world championships 

Dock dog headed for world championships

click to flip through (5) PHOTO BY JOHN FRENCH - CANINE CAN DO Sherri Fleck and her dog Sable spend a few hours each weekend training at Rainbow Park in preparation for their trip to the Dockdogs World Championships.
  • Photo by John French
  • CANINE CAN DO Sherri Fleck and her dog Sable spend a few hours each weekend training at Rainbow Park in preparation for their trip to the Dockdogs World Championships.
 

Some 3,300 kilometres separate Dubuque, Iowa and Whistler, B.C. but that distance isn’t preventing a Whistler dog from making the trip next month to compete at the Dockdogs World Championships.

Sable, the dog ranked third in the world amongst competitive dock dogs, is going to make the big trip for the event from Nov. 13 to 17.

Sable’s owner, Sherri Fleck, took Sable to a number of events this fall to qualify for the international competition. They went to Victoria for an event then they travelled to the Canadian Regional Dockdogs event in London, Ontario. Those two events followed the successful Dockdogs competition held in Whistler this summer.

“She ended up winning her Iron Dog division so she is now 2013 Canadian Warrior Iron Dog Champion,” said Fleck of Sable's efforts in London.

During a training session at Rainbow Park, Fleck said her dog’s best Big Air jump is 7.1 metres (23 feet and four inches). The best jumpers in the world are jumping only slightly farther than Sable at up to 7.3 metres.

Sable is going to compete in Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve at the world championships. Fleck said Sable might get a podium finish in Dubuque.

Sable also does well at Speed Retrieve and Fleck said there’s room for improvement in the Extreme Vertical event. Sable’s best vertical jump height is about 1.5 metres (5 feet).

“She gets so excited,” said Fleck when asked how Sable reacts at competitions. “Even coming to the lake she gets excited. She does this noise that I like to say is like blowing bubbles. It’s like under water, it’s kind of like this scream and a girgle all at the same time. When it’s show time, when she comes out of her crate she just knows. She pulls on her lead and you would think she’s had no obedience training whatsoever.”

Sable tends to be loud and eager and because she loves jumping into water and because of that Fleck gives Sable ample opportunity to do it.

“You can just tell that she loves the competition,” said Fleck. “We even got a little suit for her this year.”

The suit, which features a maple leaf on a red background, is going to be ready for Sable in time for the event in Dubuque.

Check back on Thursday for more on Sable’s quest for world dog domination.

By John French

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