VIDEO: Utah dog trainer drawn to protection trials in Langley

A relatively new sport was unveiled in town this weekend with an inaugural K9-handler competition.

A relatively new obedience and protection sport for dogs and handlers – which started in the states earlier this century – is growing worldwide, with clubs through the U.S., India, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, and now in Vancouver.

While it’s “huge” on the East Coast – and especially in the U.S., it’s new to B.C., Tamara Whittaker, director for the Vancouver PSA club explained on the competition field in South Langley Sunday.

“This weekend was the first trial in B.C. and we were lucky enough to have one of the founders of PSA – Jerry Bradshaw – come out from North Carolina to judge,” she said.

The three-day competition was held at Pacific Northwest Kennel, on 0 Avenue.

“[The sport] was created so that civilian handlers could compete with their dogs in a similar training venue as police dogs,” Whittaker explained, noting the competition consists of obedience and protection portions.

The regional organization started up in January 2016, said Whittaker, who helped found the Vancouver group.

“Mike Wilson and I were working in the security industry as K9 handlers when we started talking about bringing PSA to B.C.,” she said.

They reached out to a club in Ontario, held their first workshop last spring – again in Langley – and have already grown from four to 13 dog-handler teams.

“It was a huge success and people began to come out to practices. After that the team was formed.”

As for events, they practice year round and are open to new members joining, Whittaker said, explaining that the plan is to host at least one PSA-sanctioned event per year and fundraisers leading up to the main event.

This was the main event.

Still being a fledgling sport in B.C., there were only 10 dog-and-handler teams competing in this weekend’s West Coast Clash PSA Trial. Most of the competitors were from the Vancouver area. But they did have teams travel from California, Toronto, and Utah.

For Salt Lake City’s Max Chardack, he chose to bring his two dogs, two-year-old Booker and 16-month-old Kaya to B.C. to test their progress.

Chardack, 27, is a professional dog trainer who put his two German shepherds out on the field testing their obedience and protection abilities.

Instead of traveling out east, where most of the big-name trainers are located, he said it was easier and more inviting for him to take part in this new trial in B.C.

Dog-and-handler teams, he explained, must pass a high level of obedience in order to move on to protection segment of the competition.

“The sport is extremely difficult since scenarios change and you don’t really know what you will encounter at trial,” Whittaker explained.

Chardack didn’t get through to the protection segment with Booker, but he did received a score of 87.5 out of 100 on obedience.

Meanwhile, Chardack’s younger pup, Kaya, did pass in the protection trials and received her entry level protection certification.

“Something new and cool can happen at the end of a leash any time I have my dogs out,” he said, part way through Sunday’s trials.

“It’s always interesting to see what we can do with them and how far we can take them…” he added. “For me, it’s a test of the dog.”

When all was said and done this weekend, Chardack finished first overall in his Level 1 division, and hopes to be back for the local competition again in years to come.

On that note, Whittaker said another trial is already in the works for next year, and once again it’s expected to be held at the South Langley facility.

For more information about the Vancouver-based organization, people can go online to psak9.org or vancouverpsa.com.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

rhooper@langleyadvance.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

 

Just Posted

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Man found guilty of murder of Good Samaritan

Brad McPherson was murdered at a party early on the morning of Christmas Eve 2011.

Langley lacrossers roughed up 22-12 during Calgary stopover

Next Saturday, Feb. 24, the team hosts a Vancouver Stealth Experience, inviting guests on the floor.

Aldergrove welcomes new Community Association

Several dozen attend introductory meeting of new Aldergrove Community Association

Langley City honours volunteers who give so much

At least 200 people came together Thursday to be recognized and thanked by the City of Langley.

VIDEO: Widen the freeway now, Langley chamber insists

Business advocates describe cancelling bridge tolls and highway expansion as ‘disappointing.’

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

One dead after targeted shooting in Coquitlam

IHIT also asking for information about a car on fire nearby

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

Heavy snowfall warning continues

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

VIDEO: Injury-riddled Vancouver Giants find a way to edge Edmonton Oil Kings

Giants win 2-1 at home despite missing four key defencemen from lineup

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read