Dog lovers may want to check out this weekend’s local disc dog competition — Woofstock — which is coming to Sandy Township Park Saturday through Sunday.
“It’s awesome free entertainment for kids and adults, watching awesome dogs doing amazing things, in a beautiful local park,” said organizer David H. Gosch. “And if you have a dog that brings back a ball or already catches discs, anyone can play.”
During the competition, teams consisting of a dog and its human will compete in different disc competitions to earn a spot at the world finals. No admission will be charged.
The event starts at 9 a.m. each day and will continue through early afternoon.
This is the ninth annual Woofstock, but only the second held in the DuBois area.
“I’ve been doing them in Maryland for the first seven, and I moved back to Pennsylvania here to my hometown area, Clearfield, which is where I grew up, but I live in DuBois,” said Gosch. “And so I brought my event with me. Our club is the one that hosts the event, but we usually get one person in the club to be the representative of that area or it’s their event.”
Gosch’s 11-year-old Australian Shepherd, Hippie Chick, launched him into the sport.
“She catches everything. It’s on me. I’m the weak link. If I can throw it right and down the middle or put it in the right place for a freestyle routine, she catches it,” said Gosch. “This is her biggest award — Skyhoundz Sport World Champion — she’s qualified for world finals for the last eight years straight, which is unheard of. She’s just unbelievable.”
Gosch doesn’t compete with Hippie Chick in as many challenges as they once did because of her age.
“We compete against teams from all over the world at the finals. Hippie has also performed at fairs, halftime shows, expos and kids shows. My fondest memory is having 500 kids chanting ‘Hippie Chick.’ She makes me so proud,” said Gosch.
Hippie Chick started competing “right out of the gate,” said her owner.
“All of mine have been started right out of the gate doing it. The number one dogs you see in this sport are Border Collies, and I have a Border Collie mix — Dani California,” he said. “She’s a 6 year old mix. She’s my permanent puppy because she’s just a small little dog. Her job is to be cute. Fortunately, my two Aussies are not,” said Gosch.
His 3-year-old Australian Shepherd, Teegan, is the team’s next star.
“She’s (Teegan) just getting started, and she’s a beast,” said Gosch. “She is so fast and she’s going to be another Hippie Chick.”
What dogs can do with discs is awesome, said Gosch, noting there are two basic games.
“There’s the freestyle, which is choreographed to music. Trick throws, trick catches, vaults, meaning they jump off your body, flip, do all kinds of things,” said Gosch. “The sporting games are usually about a ‘minute to win it.’ The standard one in every organization is different names but, it’s like on a football field. You have 10, 20, 30, 40 yard lines. If you throw over 10 yards you maybe get one point. Twenty yards, two points, three, four, you know, like that.”
There’s bonuses for when they jump in the air and catch it, he said. “But you have one minute to get as many points as you can with one Frisbee. So the dog has to run out, like a World Champion, like my Hippie Chick when she was at her speed, we could catch five 40s in one minute.”
“There’s other games like spot landing on Sunday, that will have a throw circle and you have four other circles, and you got to throw them inside,” he said.
For more information, interested persons can contact Gosch through the Facebook event page for West Central Pennsylvania Disc Dogs.