On Saturday, I attended part of the 2012 Extreme Mutt Makeover competition. I know some of you have been following Lilli’s story on my blog and on her facebook page. Last week, you saw all the tricks she had learned so far!
For those who haven’t been following along, the Extreme Mutt Makeover pulls mutts from local shelters and places them with pre-approved positive trainers. At the end of six weeks, the dogs compete to show off everything they have learned and then are available for adoption. I think EMM is awesome because it promotes both pet adoption and the benefits of positive training.
During the competition, each dog completes an obedience course and a freestyle performance. During the freestyle performance (which was the part I watched) the trainers come up with their own routine to music that showcases the dog’s best behaviors and tricks. It was super cool seeing how well the dogs performed and how much they had learned, in just 6 weeks. Lilli and Michelle’s hard work paid off, they got third place overall in the adult division.
This year for the first time (I think), the competition had a youth division. The five kids in the youth division and their dogs all looked like they were having a great time. I think the youth division is a great idea and I hope they’ll keep doing it in future years. What a great way to get kids involved in positive dog training.
The competition was all day — a LONG day for both the people and dogs. I was very proud of the performances of all of the people and dogs — these were shelter dogs with 6 weeks of training, not seasoned show dogs. There were some silly little “oops” moments (we were in a cattle show barn with LOTS of distractions!), but the trainers just laughed them off and kept going and the audience clapped and cheered through every dog’s performance. It was really a supportive audience, which I loved seeing.
In the photo to the right, you might not be able to read the sign because of the glare. It reads: “I promise I will leave your food on the table.” And yes, that is a real pizza!
That’s a pretty well trained dog who can ignore a yummy looking pizza, while in a completely new environment full of lots of new sights, sounds, and smells. Many of the other dogs had equally as impressive performances during the freestyle portion of the competition.
I hope all of these dogs find great homes. They definitely deserve it! Many of the dogs have already been adopted. However, a few have not. If you check out the links below to the EMM facebook page, you can learn more info about each of the dogs.