It’s demo season! The Southern Ohio Flying K9s typically do 5 or 6 demos throughout the season, and we have several on the calendar. Demos are wonderful! Everyone should participate in demos, and here are a few reasons why.
First of all, they’re lots of fun. They’re often at fair or festival type events, so there are often cool booths to check out. You may be able to get your face painted, get free samples of treats, or even score some sample bags of various dog foods. Plus, there’s an audience. A lot of our dogs love being rock stars, and really respond to the applause they’ll get at a demo!
Secondly, they can be very useful for dog training. If you have a new dog starting out, this can be a great way to introduce them to playing disc for an audience. You can be there for just a few hours, so they can get used to being crated without having to be crated all weekend. You can even use treats or other toys to reward while on the field. The announcer will work into his/her spiel an explanation about how we train our dogs for disc and why you’re using rewards. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, you can still come, and work your dog between shows. That way you have the environment, without the pressure of performing.
Thirdly, they can be useful for YOU! If you experience ring nerves, this is a great way to work them out. You’re not being judged, but you still have an opportunity to perform in front of a crowd. If you choke when throwing under pressure, you can get a chance to practice throwing with fairly short throws in front of the audience.
Fourth, they help the club. The club will make a little money that we use to hold competitions, but more importantly we get exposure. Many of our new members come from the audiences at demos we’ve done. It’s really important that we have players of all levels come to demos, even novices. These are often scheduled on very warm days, and the shows last about half an hour, so we need to rotate dogs on & off the field. There’s no way the experienced dogs could perform that long without being relieved by the novice & intermediate dogs!
So, what’s involved in a demo? We typically do two shows at a demo, each a half hour long, a couple of hours apart. We use the same rough outline for our demos, and tailor it to the players who are able to come. It goes something like this:
- One of the experienced teams will do some freestyle to attract attention, and get the crowd to come to our field. We don’t use individual music at demos – the announcer will keep music playing, and the teams perform to whatever is playing at the moment.
- Sometimes we will have another team or two do some freestyle.
- We will have a section about how to start training a dog for disc. One of the novice players will demonstrate rollers, the two toy game, etc., while the announcer explains how we start our dogs.
- If we have several novice players available, we can also do a section with the steps after getting the dog interested, or even demonstrate some beginning freestyle moves.
- We have a little Toss & Fetch competition, often boys against girls. We like to pull a couple of kids from the crowd to be line judges for this.
- Matt & Bazooka will do a daredevil vault over a line of kneeling people. We like to pull some kids from the audience for this as well.
- We end with another freestyle routine or two.
Here are a few videos & photos from past demos. The first one is a compilation of all the different sections from our Wagfest demo in 2012.
Here is Holly doing the section on teaching a dog to play disc, at Wagfest in 2011.
Here are some photos from a demo at OSU Veterinary Hospital, the Dublin Pet Fair, another 2015 demo, and the 2016 Spring Fling.
Our next demo is June 25th in Pleasant Hill, OH. See the widget in the lower left corner of this page for the address. Below is a schedule of events.