'Iron Dog' champ Bo holds jumping world records

3:29 PM, Feb 9, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Bo the dog jumps so well, he's a champion

Bo, a 3-year-old mixed Walker coonhound-Doberman, recently broke his own world record in the extreme vertical jump category at The Shell Factory & Nature Park during the 12th Annual Gumbo Fest, jumping 8 feet, 6 inches. He has been competing for about three years. (Michael Braun/The News-Press)

 

Fort Myers, Florida (News-Press) -- Man, does Bo know how to jump. As well he should, he's a world champion at it.

The almost 4-year-old mixed Walker coonhound-Doberman has been competing for about three years in canine aquatic competitions sponsored by the Dock Dogs organization. The worldwide organization sanctions competitions as well as rehab and other activities for dogs.

See Also: Jumping dog attracts Guinness, British TV

Bo recently broke his own world record in the extreme vertical jump category at The Shell Factory & Nature Park during the 12th Annual Gumbo Fest, jumping 8 feet, 6 inches.

Standing about waist high to an average person, Bo also owns the Iron Dog indoor title, which he won at the 2013 Dock Dogs World Championships in Dubuque, Iowa.

Cape Coral resident Crystal McClaran, owner of Bo, said the friendly and enthusiastic hound is a rescue dog that she obtained in 2010 when he was 8 weeks old.

"He was with a litter found under a trailer in my neighborhood in Beaufort, S.C.," she said.

His prowess as a jumper didn't become evident right off the bat, she said. "I had tried him earlier, and he didn't like it," she said.

McClaran said she brought Bo along when she trained other dogs to jump, and he eventually took to the sport.

"He saw the other dogs," she said. "Bo jumped 18-19 feet the first time in Big Air. He ended up being the superstar."

The Extreme Vertical event is considered the most difficult. Dogs take a running start and leap to snatch a target bumper hanging more than eight feet off the water.

She hasn't been able to keep him from going airborne since.

"He has set seven world records," she said. "He's the number one Iron Dog in the world." The Iron Dog title denotes the best in all divisions for Dock Dogs - Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve.

He does have competition, she said. A Belgian Malinois shepherd named Griz has been nipping at Bo's heels, and the two have swapped titles in extreme vertical both indoor and outdoors.

"We're friends," McClaran said of Griz and his handler, Tony Lampert. "They are the top two dogs."

McClaran and Bo train at the Aqua Dog Sports facility at the Shell Factory.

Vicki Tighe, Aqua Dog owner, said the facility had been running Dock Dogs sanctioned events for three years, and Bo was one of her first champions.

"I was there the first time he went off the dock, and we were all a little surprised and happy to have a dog of that caliber," she said.

Tighe's facility also offers swim classes, rehabilitation, aerobics and other water activities.

Tighe and McClaran, and Bo, are also members of the Suncoast Dock Dogs Club, one of 39 Dock Dogs clubs in the U.S. and Canada, Australia and England.

"We have lots of really good caliber dogs in the club," Tighe said.

For Bo, next weekend will be Apopka and then onto Virginia Beach for more jumping and to get rankings. McClaran said Bo will also head to Dubuque in November to defend his current titles.

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