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Dog Olympics & Pet Expo – a first for Joburg

Agility-Championships-LogoThe World Agility Championships (dubbed the “Dog Olympics”) will be taking place from 10 – 13 October 2013 at the Coca-Cola Dome in Honeydew.  This is a significant and well established international event, which will be hosted in Johannesburg and supported by the National, Gauteng & Johannesburg Convention Bureaux.  A senior city official will be doing the official welcome on 11 October, on behalf of the City of Joburg.

Pet-Expo-LogoA Pet & Me Expo will take place at the same time, the highlight of which is an attempt on the Guinness Book of World Records for the most dog food collected over a seven day period. The expo will showcase all types of breeds of ALL pets in various dedicated areas, including a puppy zone, breed edu-zone, the pet and me wellness zone, reptile and fish adventure area and more. The show is designed to entertain the whole family with a children’s area, a super range of wine estates and gourmet delicacies, a me with my pet photographic competition as well as the ‘man cave’ beer and biltong sports bar.

“Jo’burgers are always looking for good value entertainment, and so we have combined pets with lifestyle to cater for all families and pet lovers”, says Zara Langford, Marketing Director. “There are stands for pet bling and accessories, animal travel, pet nutrition, photography, pharmaceutical, outdoor and lifestyle, technology and innovation as well as breeders.”

The International World Agility Championships is a rotating annual event hosted by Federation of International Canine (FCI).   The Kennel Union of South Africa secured the right to host the event in Johannesburg at Coca Cola Dome in October 2013.  It will be the first time that the World Champs are held outside European boundaries.

At the World Champs both Individual as well as Team Events are held.  South Africa has had several top 10 finishes in both Individual and Team events and won Gold in the Large Team event in 2005 and 2006.

Agility is the fastest growing Dog Sport in the world with an average participation of 300 handlers. It is a fun activity for both humans and dogs of any size, breed and can be compared to Show Jumping in horses.  But unlike show jumping, where the rider is on top of the horse, in Agility the dogs have to negotiate an obstacle course, guided only by the handler’s voice and body movements (no leash, no physical contact) thus testing not only the agility, suppleness and physical ability of the dog but also impeccable obedience to the slightest cues by the human.


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