While the “dog days of summer” have not technically begun (officially starting July 3 through August 11th, coinciding with the hottest time of the year and the ancient rising of the Dog Star “Sirius” –Wikipedia.) This week I am dedicating my posts to man’s best friend, as Flagler Beach seems to be one of the most dog friendly cities to live in or visit and folks here love their animals.
Scot Koster happens to be one of those people but his K9 relationships soar above the average person’s as he also trains his companions to be World Frisbee Dog Championship Finalists. Scot and his wife Angela have been training dogs for over 5 years now and together with their four legged teammates make up part of the Disc- Connected K-9 World Famous Frisbee Dogs Performance Team.
Scot’s dog training journey began in a St. Augustine bagel shop as he sat with his morning coffee, reading a local paper. There was an advertisement that caught his eye. Initially it was the graphic design work that fascinated him, as Scot owns a print and design company called Krazy Kat Graphics. Moments later however he realized it was the subject of the cartoon, a Frisbee dog that was making an impression and an overwhelming feeling to attend the event being promoted swept over him. The frisbee dog performance was hosted by the world famous trainer Lawrence Frederick and a meeting between the two would change Scot’s life forever.
Having always been a dog lover it was an easy path to follow, but learning to understand the language of dogs has been an education in itself. Dogs are pack animals and becoming their leader is the most valuable lesson when learning to train more than one. Trust is established and positive reinforcement is the only training mechanism utilized. All the dogs on the Disc- Connected K-9 team are rescues, with some having suffered terrible living conditions and treatment by previous owners and most probably never having seen a Frisbee before.
The technical part of putting together a routine requires rehearsing for 6 months to a year. Scot’s routines are built off modules, which may include 10 moves and 5 different throws. The dogs can know exactly which routine you are about to start based off your body position or by speaking out the name of the module itself. The dogs can also tell which direction the disc is rotating based on the trainers movements, helping them to catch the discs more efficiently. The dog’s level of intelligence is amazing as well as the commitment on behalf of the trainer.
Scot and his dogs will be heading off to compete at the Sky Houndz Hyperflite Mid-Atlantic Disc Dog Competition in Roanoke, NC this weekend. I wish them the best of luck!
The Disc- Connected K-9 World Famous Frisbee Dogs Performance Team has performed locally for the past two years at the Palm Coast Seafood Festival. To view their upcoming shows, find out more about the performers or learn about their A+ rescue program– visit the website http://www.k9frisbee.com or friend them on Facebook.
Check in tomorrow on Naturally Cool Wednesday to see what some local dog lovers have done to keep their pets clean and comfortable… Cheers to Man’s Best Friend!