Woop woop! President’s Choice SuperDogs is back for another year at the PNE from Aug 22 – Sept 7.
It’s basically where a bunch of super happy doggies do fun and exciting tricks in front of a large audience. And what’s the best part of this? They LOVE doing tricks.
This picture of this super meditative dog “Popcorn” magically flying through space pretty much sums up the event…
We were wondering what it takes to be a SuperDog and a SuperDog mom, so we spoke to Emma Hedman, owner of 2 fabulous doggies taking part in this year’s SuperDogs.
1. Tell us about your Superdogs
I have “7-Up” and “Popcorn” returning to the show this year. 7 is a Vizsla. He’s just turned 6 years old and has been performing with the President’s Choice SuperDogs for 4 years now. He’s very athletic and a bit of a wild child!
Popcorn is a 3 year old mystery mutt. She was born in a shelter in Washington, and I adopted her at 8 weeks old. She’s tiny (about 8lbs soaking wet) but don’t tell her that. She loves to race with the big dogs and will do anything for a game of tug of war.
This year I’ll also be auditioning my new little rescued terrier mix “Gecko”. I adopted him a year ago from a shelter in Belize. Best souvenir I’ve ever brought home!
2. How did you get involved with SuperDogs?
I went to my first SuperDogs show at the PNE when I was about 8 or 9. From that point on I never missed a chance to see them every summer and dreamed of the day I could have a SuperDog of my own. I was so excited four years ago when I got the opportunity to audition with 7-Up and haven’t looked back since!
3. What are the craziest tricks your dogs can do?
All my dogs love learning tricks, and it’s hard to pick the best one! 7 has a pretty funny fake pee trick (leg lift). He’ll also retrieve absolutely anything which has come in handy when I’ve dropped my car keys on a hike.
Popcorn knows her left and right, often better than I do! She also loves the weave poles and makes the loudest, funniest noises while she weaves.
4. What does a dog need to do to get involved in SuperDogs?
There are auditions held, usually, every year in Vancouver which are posted on the President’s Choice SuperDogs website. Dogs who are trained in sports such as Agility, Flyball, Disc Dogs etc. usually have many of the skills involved in the shows.
The challenge for most dogs would be getting used to the lights, music and crowds. It takes a lot of positive training to teach our dogs to stay focused on their trainer and perform in such a distracting environment.
5. What kind of training is involved to be a SuperDog?
I compete with my dogs in Agility and that’s where they get a lot of the skills they need in the shows. We also play around with tricks for freestyle (dancing with your dog) and disc tricks.
Training is done in very short sessions using positive reinforcement techniques. Our dogs learn to “shape” new behaviours using clicker training and they absolutely love training time! In the shows 7 works for a ball and Popcorn for a tug of war. Both love treats too.
6. Why do you enjoy being a SuperDog mum?
I love the connection and strong bond you develop with your dogs training them the way we do. It’s an amazing feeling to communicate back and forth with an animal. They love performing in the shows and we have so much fun together entertaining the crowds.
7. Is there anything special Vancouver dog lovers can look forward to from your dogs at this year’s SuperDogs show at the PNE?
We have a whole new theme this year, “Hollywoof!” The show will be a celebration of all things Hollywood.
8. Do you think our dog Max would make a good SuperDog? (He eats goose poop, wanders off when he finds something interesting, and doesn’t respond to his name unless we have food. However he is a great dancer.)
Every dog is a SuperDog! 🙂 Max sounds like a character! All the SuperDogs belong to their trainers…they are their pets and best friends. Trust me, they ALL act just like Max when the spotlight is off (and sometimes even when it’s on!)