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It’s the Sporting Life for Some Dogs

When I lived at the Bakery Lofts in Emeryville a few years ago, a neighbor bragged about her dog whisperer trainer, Francis Metcalf, who ran what then seemed to be a rather under-the-radar neighborhood canine circus arts school.

Also around then, friends at the barn got new puppies or dogs, and as their pooches grew and matured, they, too, found the circus school and tried it, loving the experience. Recently, a new barn friend, Jeanine Courser, enrolled her Pomeranian in the school, Canine Circus School, and then taught her second Pom the same tricks at home. Bay Woof invited her to write about her experience this month, and you can read her tale in “Just Another Day at Circus School.”  East Bay photographer Pat Mazzera visited the school in 2014 for Oakland Magazine, our sister publication, and Bay Woof is grateful to be able to share some of her awesome photos from that encounter. The school is enormously popular now and sells out quickly, but most enthusiasts agree it’s worth the wait.

This month Bay Woof also asked trainers at San Francisco Animal Care & Control to explain Barkcore. It’s essentially Parkour for dogs that invites humans and pooches to use their environment for exercise and enrichment. The best part is that it can be done anywhere outside.

In other sporting news, Lynn Ungar, who teaches obedience classes in San Lorenzo and San Jose, spreads the word about freestyle, also known as dancing with your dog. See what the genre is all about on and why it might be a good fit for you and your dog. It can be quite an elaborate routine or very simple and appears to be a great way to improve the dog-human bond.

Bay Woof’s Beast of the Bay contest gets underway this month. Our online open-ended nomination ballot goes  live April 1 for phase one voting through April 30. Phase two voting — in which the top vote-getters are pitted against one another — runs from May 15 through June 15. Results will be in the August issue. Vote today! Click here for the link.