Come Watch Some Of The Best Dog Athletes In The Nation



Cynosports at Westworld in Scottsdale will be held Nov. 2 through Nov. 5. This event brings together top dogs and dog folks from around the world.

Beyond all the pros in these dog sporting events, there will be demonstrations and opportunities to try many of these activities with your dog. It is also an opportunity to see an amazing array of dogs and people who have a wonderful time with their dogs in every manner of dog sport.


Nitro is focused, determined and fast as he races over the jumps to activate the spring-loaded flyball box and retrieve the tennis ball.

There will be lots of agility and flyball as well as flying discs, dock jumping, go to ground, lure coursing, canine musical freestyle and more. Vendors will tempt you with incredible dog equipment, toys, food and treats.

On Sunday, Nov. 5, there will be the finals for Grand Prix of Dog Agility, Flyball World Championships, Flying Disc World Championships and the World Dock Jumping Championship.

Cynosport is an opportunity to see the best dog athletes in the world competing in some of the new and not-so-new but exciting dog sports. Most of these dogs have had to qualify to participate. You will not believe the energy and enthusiasm of both the dogs and the handlers.

Flyball is a huge and noisy event at Cynosports.

One of the dogs competing in the championships is Payson's own -- Nitro. Nitro is a border collie who lives with Bill and Jonnie Geen and their three other dogs. Nitro, born in Michigan, is from a line of border collies measured to be among the fastest in the world by the North American Flyball Association. His kennel name is Offspring's High Explosive. Thus the call name, Nitro.

Border collies are working dogs who will herd the children or all the neighbors or even the squirrels. But Nitro is happy being a spectacular flyball dog and on the side, he enjoys riding on the golf cart and having long daily runs. In the house, he is a real gentleman and very affectionate and sensitive, but nothing gets by him. He is always on guard.

Nitro is the start dog for the INXS Region Championship Flyball team, which has earned a spot in the Cynosport World Championship Games. Flyball is a relay race with two four-dog teams who race against each other in parallel lanes.

The course is 51 feet long and has four jumps, evenly spaced. At the end is a spring-loaded flyball box.

The start dogs are released and trigger a sensor. As they engage the box, a tennis ball is ejected. The dog grasps the ball and turns to race back to the starting line, at which time the next dog is released and the next and the next.

Nitro's team is the fastest multibreed team on the West Coast with a top speed for the course of 17.10 seconds.

A multibreed team must be made up of four different breeds of dogs. A mixed breed dog is considered a breed. In contrast, a regular team can be made up of any breed of dog. Because border collies are fast, determined and focused, many regular teams consist of three border collies and a height dog. Border collies excel at flyball.

The height of the jumps on the course is determined by the height of the smallest dog on the team. Every team searches for a short but very fast little guy for their team. The Geen's rat terrier, Tequila Scooter, is 7.5 inches at the withers, is a height dog and will be competing with another INXS team.

The Geen's golden retriever, Cody, holds the #12 spot in flyball for all golden retrievers in the world. She will be competing in dock diving and in the lure course obstacle track. Shooter will also compete in dock jumping and lure course racing.

Bill and Jonnie have become flyball fanatics. They travel around the Southwest with their dogs, pulling a large trailer full of equipment. You will recognize the trailer as it is beautifully decorated with life-size pictures of their dogs in full motion.

Higgins, Gibson and I will be at Westworld's Cynosport, representing Canine Musical Freestyle. Part of the Arizona group, we will have ongoing demonstrations, but we also have two great freestyle teachers putting on seminars throughout the weekend.

Patty Wiedeman and Julie Flannery will be giving group and private classes. There is a charge for Patty and Julie's seminars, but they will be terrific. There will also be short mini-sessions that are free, taught by local freestylers.

Bring your dog and stop by our Arizona Canine Freestyle spot at Westworld. We are right in the middle of it all.

Try to get to Scottsdale for Cynosports. You will be totally amazed. Westworld is just off of the 101, north of Shea Boulevard and is well-marked. There is an entry fee. Come and cheer for Nitro, Tequila Shooter and Cody Geen. They will make you proud.

Thank you

Many thanks to all who participated in the fifth annual Dog Day in the Park. I particularly want to thank Kelly Watts, our wonderful master of ceremonies. He stayed with us all day, did a great job and provided amazing equipment including cordless mics.

Our judges had a tough job and their efforts were very much appreciated. Thanks to: Autumn Phillips, from the Payson Roundup, Barbara Brenke, volunteer extraordinary at the Payson Humane Society and Vivian Taylor who was one of the founders of the Payson Off Leash Dog Park.

Thanks to the Old Tyme Music Makers who provided great musical entertainment. We appreciated the vendors who joined us and supported our efforts. A special "thank you" to Deputy Dennis Newman who I promoted to Sheriff in prior articles and to his dogs, Zelma and Rusty. I do wish we could have shown off the talents of these dogs, but maybe next year. Thanks to all who came and enjoyed the day. It was fun.

Last but not least, the big top would have collapsed if not for J.J. and Peggy. Many thanks.

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