OCEANSIDE, Calif., Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- There was another victory in Iowa. It was someone who greets his supporters with a tail wag, slobbery kiss, soft furry cuddle and a sandpaper tongue. The now world famous dog, who at the ripe old age (for a dog) of nine and a half, celebrated his big win at the 2016 DockDogs World Championship which just finished its fourth and final day in Dubuque, Iowa. Rex, a Belgian Malinois, is a tail-wagging resident of Oceanside, CA. Rex and his handler, Lianne Shinton of IQ K9 Training, have competed in the acclaimed competition upwards of 25 times, with 2016 being the ultimate win for the pair. Rex and Lianne now hold the International title for "Sonic Speed Retrieve" and the two were inducted into the Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the World Championship event.
The win is not only poignant because of Rex's senior age, but also due to his status as a both a rescue dog, and cancer survivor. Brianne Durham, a fellow DockDogs competitor and friend of the winning team said "they have shown the world that the underdog story is real. Rex came to Lianne as an unwanted orphan... And today he is a two-time World Champion! This journey for Lianne and Rex wasn't easy. The Championship didn't just happen. They've been there, every year for the last decade wanting this. So, when it finally happened, it was surreal. An incredible milestone in their lives together."
"It's a big deal for us" said Shinton. "We have trained and trained for this day, and it finally happened. I couldn't be more proud of Rex. He's always been a winner to me, but now he's a World Champion."
As Thanksgiving nears, this furry champion and his proud teammate seem to be glowing with gratitude and admiration for each other. But this mutual admiration is not always the case for every dog/human pair. A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association found that about one-third of dog owners who give up their pets to an animal shelter do so because of the dogs' perceived behavior problems. The study also found that married people were more likely than single people to give up their pets. That may be because many married people may have children or other responsibilities that make it more difficult for them to train their pets.
"Whatever people do, they have to have patience and dedication when it comes to understanding their dog's behavior" says Shinton. "Every dog has something that makes them special. Dog/human team sports like DockDogs are a great way to find what that something special is, and it's a great way for us to interact with our pets in a positive way."
Lianne Shinton, Rex's teammate and trainer, and the humble co-creator if IQ K9, is doing just that. Her company based in Oceanside, is a life-changing and motivating dog training facility with a mission to unleash the potential of our K9 companions. Steve Duno of ModernDog Magazine, says "dogs have a distinct personality and behavioral profile. Though breed helps determine this, the individual dog's character must be understood before training can succeed". Shinton and her team take this to heart, and really get to know their K9 scholars by providing an initial behavioral assessment, and then if the dog is a good fit, they provide them a series of Dog Boot Camps, where, while spending several days, and up to weeks with Shinton and her team, pets learn commands in behavior and obedience, and off-leash training around distractions, and other foundational competencies.
The program does not specifically train K9 scholars on the DockDogs sport. The life's work of the IQ K9 team is helping owners and their pets with the groundwork such as obedience and behavioral problem solving. Once the foundational training has been completed, the IQ K9 team offers programs for their grads such as Canine Good Citizen and advanced trick classes. From there, owners can go in many directions, including participation in DockDogs.
"We love the furry-success stories. It's what we live for" said Shinton. And she and Rex aren't the only champions from IQ K9 Training. The training team actually came away from the event winning two World Championships. Bret Geller and his six year old Border Collie/Whippet mix, Soldier, earned the "Nitro Speed Retrieve" World Championship title.
Dunham says "When I watch Rexy and Lianne and Soldier and Bret do what they do, it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Henry Ford. "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success."
DockDogs is a mix of canine aquatics, ball sport, and good 'ol fun. Each team comprises one dog and their handler. All dogs over six months old are welcome, and kids can get in on the action, too. Handlers seven years old and older can participate. No intense training or auditioning is required to participate, but to win, now that is a different story. A hobby for some, and a passion for others, this performance sport for canine competitors includes four contests: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, Speed Retrieve and finally Iron Dog, which is a combination of all three.
Judging for distance, the Big Air competition judges how far your dog can jump from the edge of the dock across the pool. The Extreme Vertical is the "high jump" for dogs where dogs jump upwards from the dock in order to retrieve the official DockDogs bumper, landing in the water. DockDogs Speed Retrieve involves a run...jump...swim environment. The clock starts when the dog leaves the starting line on the dock and stops when the dog swims to the end of the pool and retrieves the official DockDogs bumper.
Teams must earn invitations to compete in the World Championships at DockDogs events held regionally, nationally and internationally throughout each year. "DockDogs is a blast for the dogs and very entertaining for the crowds," said Shinton. "It was great competing against new teams as well as world record holders who really gave Rex a workout."
This World Championships event brings in the BEST DockDogs teams in the world to put their heart and soul into competing and show off their dogs' amazing gifts of talent, timing and athletic prowess.
About IQ K9 Training
IQ K9 Training is a facility and mobile dog training team located in Oceanside, California. IQ K9 Training unites pets and their owners by unleashing the potential of our K9 companions. With a customized training program that includes an in depth pet-personality evaluation, and then instills their scholars with knowledge, confidence, and a sense of purpose. The program results in well behaved, healthy and balanced dogs who are respected animals and a joy to be around. For more information, call (619) 777-6330 or visit www.IQK9Training.com.
For more information about this story, or to schedule an interview with Rex and Lianne Shinton, please reach out to Sonya Meline, PR Director, at (619) 379-1088, or [email protected].
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SOURCE IQ K9 Training