Mary is the proud master of Swindle, a dynamic Belgian Malinois who does competitions for a living – or better yet – for fun! In this blogpost, we’re sharing Swindle’s story as shared by Mary.
I always wanted to have a Belgian Malinois, it was just a matter of time and energy as I knew they are a very high energy dog. I began looking for a puppy, and was able to find one through a breeder in Louisiana that a friend of mine had recommended. I contacted the breeder just at the right time, as they only had one female pup left. I was so thankful they trusted me with Swindle! I picked her up at the airport in Portland, Oregon, and we definitely had an instant bond. She came off the plane so confidently, as if she ruled the world! Over the course of the next few days, she was introduced to so many new things and was even able to manage the 6 hour journey home (she handled it like a pro!). When she came to us in February of 2015, she was just 8 weeks old.
For over 25 years, I have been working with dogs and in dog sports. So, before getting Swindle I had a good understanding of the Belgian Malinois and what the breed’s level of energy would be like. Even so, nothing prepared me for having this busy dog in the house. Together, we quickly learned what we needed to do to keep Swindle a good dog… more exercise.
With my experience in dog sports, specifically agility and flyball, I continued working to train Swindle. I knew she was going to have extreme talent in both activities. Later on, I attended a seminar for Diving Dogs. There were about 8 other dogs in the seminar, but Swindle was the only one that jumped off the dock and landed about 12’ out! I immediately signed up to take the same seminar again the following day, where again Swindle was the star student. It was so invigorating to see the excitement she had getting up on the dock, plus, it was nice to have her tired when we came home! We continued to take weekly lessons until the end of the season when we entered our first competition. As expect, Swindle was a complete natural and qualified to go to Nationals. We were off to Nationals in Orlando, Florida in December of 2015 where Swindle placed 10th in her division!
Throughout the next year, we continued to go to the local pool to practice throwing and jumping into the water. However, life takes its turns and we found ourselves out of this sport for the next couple of years. We continued going to the lake, but only to indulge in some fun. With my sister and best friend living in Hillsboro, Oregon we always found ourselves making a pool night date the few times a year we would visit.
As an adult dog and throughout the past few years, Swindle has competed in flyball and agility. Unfortunately, the pools in our area had all closed down so there was no longer anywhere to practice. But, in March of 2018 I decided to enter her in a competition in Hillsboro, Oregon. Much to my surprise Swindle rocked the dock getting so close to hitting the World record in the organization with her best jump of 30’6”. At the same event, we also gave Air Retrieve a try (she was a natural to get that as well with her current best at 25’).
Swindle and I are a great team on the dock, we have our throw down to a science as well as the energy we share. This sport is perfect for the both of us as we enjoy the thrill of the throw and the fun of the sport! The question is how far can we go…
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Daily Exercise Required: 23.5hrs
Registered: Name: Top Guns Mistress of Deception
Call Name: Swindle
Nick Name: Swindle Berry Pie
Sports: Agility, Flyball, Dock Diving
Food: FirstMate Hi Performance
Home Town: Louisiana
Current Town: Abbotsford, BC
Planned Events in 2018 – Dock Diving
Gig Harbor, Washington – June 1 – 3
Gig Harbor, Washington – July 20 – 22
Hillsboro, Oregon – July 27 – 29
Enumclaw, Washington – August 15 – 19
Ione, California – September 7 – 9 – Tournament of Champions
Hillsboro, Oregon – September 28 – 30
Orlando, Florida – December 14 – 16 – National Championships
First Dock Diving seminar hosted by K9 Fun Pool August 2015
First Competition September 2015 – Qualified for National Championships
Orlando, Florida December 2015 – Placed 10th in Masters
Hillsboro, Oregon – March 2018 – Biggest distance 30’6” – 3” away from the world record in NADD
#1 Overall North America Diving Dogs for 2018 Distance – Best jump 30’ 6″
#1 Overall North America Diving Dog for 2018 Air Retrieve – Best retrieve 25′
#1 Belgian Malinois distance
#1 Belgian Malinois AR
We chose to pursue Air Retrieve this year as Swindle has such amazing natural talent and loves the water. She has greeted every sport with enthusiasm, and will continue competing in flyball and agility as well!
Would you like your dog to get more exercise? Check out our outdoor pet fun blogpost here to get more ideas on what to do with your furry friend!