Dog competition

The ‘Woofstock’ disc dog competition will take place this weekend | News

Dog lovers might want to check out this weekend’s local disc dog competition – Woofstock – taking place at Sandy Township Park from Saturday to Sunday.

“It’s awesome free fun for kids and adults alike, watching awesome dogs do amazing things, in a beautiful local park,” said organizer David H. Gosch. “And if you have a dog that is fetching a ball or already catching discs, anyone can play.”

During the competition, teams consisting of a dog and its human will compete in different disc competitions to win a place in the world finals. No entry will be charged.

The event begins at 9 a.m. each day and will continue until the early afternoon.

This is the ninth annual Woofstock, but only the second held in the DuBois area.

“I did them in Maryland for the first seven, and moved back to Pennsylvania here in my hometown of Clearfield, where I grew up, but I live in DuBois,” Gosch said. “And so I brought my event with me. Our club is the host of the event, but we usually ask someone in the club to be the representative for that region or it’s their event.

Gosch’s 11-year-old Australian Shepherd, Hippie Chick, got him started in the sport.

“She catches everything. It’s on me. I am the weak link. If I can throw it right and middle or put it in the right spot for a freestyle routine, she catches it,” Gosch said. “That’s her biggest accolade – Skyhoundz Sport World Champion – she’s made it to the World Finals for the last eight years in a row, which is unprecedented. She’s just amazing.

Gosch does not compete with Hippie Chick in as many challenges as they once did due to his age.

“We face teams from all over the world in the finals. Hippie has also performed at fairs, halftime shows, exhibitions, and children’s shows. My fondest memory is having 500 children chanting “Hippie Chick”. She makes me so proud,” Gosch said.

Hippie Chick started competing “right from the start,” her owner said.

“All of mine started from the start doing it. The number one dogs you see in this sport are Border Collies, and I have a Border Collie-Dani California mix,” he said. “It’s a 6-year-old mix. He’s my permanent puppy because he’s just a tiny little dog. Her job is to be cute. Luckily my two Aussies aren’t,” Gosch said.

Her 3-year-old Australian Shepherd, Teegan, is the team’s next star.

“She (Teegan) is just getting started, and she’s a beast,” Gosch said. “She’s so fast and she’s going to be another Hippie Chick.”

What dogs can do with discs is awesome, Gosch said, noting that there are two basic games.

“There’s freestyle, which is choreographed to music. Smart throws, smart catches, jumps, meaning they jump off your body, flip, do all kinds of things,” Gosch said. “Sports games are usually about a ‘minute to win it.’ yards. If you throw more than 10 yards, you might get a point. Twenty yards, two points, three, four, you know, like that.

There are bonuses for when they jump in the air and catch it, he said. “But you have one minute to get as many points as possible with a Frisbee. So the dog has to run, like a world champion, like my Hippie Chick when she was at her speed, you could catch five 40s in a minute.

“There are other games like landing on the spot on Sunday, which will have a throwing circle and you have four other circles, and you have to throw them inside,” he said.

For more information, those interested can contact Gosch through the Facebook event page for West Central Pennsylvania Disc Dogs.