By WILL HOWELL
C elebrity Paws in the Park was made to celebrate people and their pets making the choice to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Nowhere is that more on display than the Canine Sports Arena, where the action starts at 9 AM after the race at Riverfront Park. This free, family-friendly event showcases the full spectrum of canine athleticism like you’ve never seen before.
KICKING OFF THE DAY
The internationally recognized Palmetto DockDogs® are leading the way in the fastest growing canine sport in the world. For those not familiar, DockDogs is a sport in which highly trained dogs compete in one of three event types while jumping from a 40-foot dock into the water below.
The events include Big Air® a competition in which dogs are judged based on the distance jumped, Extreme Vertical®, where the dog that jumps the highest takes the prize, and Speed Retrieve®, a doggy drag race where the fastest rules the pool.
DockDogs competitions are set to take place all day on Saturday, culminating in the Big Air® Finals for the pro, semi-pro, contender, and amateur divisions starting at 3 PM.
The furry fun doesn’t end there though; the Canine Sports Arena is set to have demonstrations by the Charleston Dog Training Club and the Charleston County Aviation Authority K9 Unit.
The Charleston Dog Training Club (CDTC) was founded in 1959, making it one of the oldest AKC associated canine training clubs in the United States. Their team provides training to owners and their dogs in not only standard obedience lessons, but also a variety of canine sporting events including tracking, scent work, barn hunt, and more.
The CDTC will be at the Canine Sports Arena performing demonstrations all day. This group of highly trained dogs are set to showcase their skills in rally, obedience, and agility, along with the group’s AKC Certified trainers performing Canine Good Citizen Evaluations for the public. Bring your dog by and see if they make the grade!
Continuing through all the furry fun the Canine Sports Arena has to offer, we meet the dogs that work hard to keep our skies safe. Say hello to Hector, Taz, and Scout of the Charleston County Aviation Authority’s K9 Unit.
“This elite group of K9 officers work closely with their human partners to detect explosives, perform sweeps for narcotics, and on occasion are brought in to assist with tracking and locating possible suspects for the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, DEA, FBI, U.S. Coast Guard and more,” said Charleston Animal Society Behavior Team Manager Donya Satriale. “We are so fortunate to have them at Celebrity Paws in the Park.” The team must maintain a high level of skill and proficiency to maintain their certification as active K9 Officers. For that reason, they regularly attend various specialized training courses and even train together once a week.
Hector, a seven-year-old black German Shepherd, is a bit of a celebrity himself! He recently competed in Season three of “America’s Top Dog” on the A&E Network, appearing in two episodes. Hector and his K9 team will be showcasing the skills they use daily to protect and serve in Charleston County.
The canines and their officer partners will put on a display exhibiting their bite work, obedience, and bomb-search skills. Stick around afterwards for an informative question and answer session featuring the K9 officer handlers who work with the unit each day.
You won’t find another event that celebrates the amazing athletic abilities
of dogs quite like the Canine Sports Arena. With free admission available to all, regardless of whether they participate in the race or the fun run, why not bring the whole family along to experience the excitement? We’ll see you there after the finish line!
The Charleston Aviation Authority K9 unit will be holding demonstrations at Celebrity Paws in the Park.