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Tag: purina

Pop goes the dog treat

No longer do those of us who like to watch our dogs catch treats in mid-air have to go to all the effort of tossing them.

New from Purina, Beggin’ Party Poppers have hit the market — bacon and cheese-flavored treats that come in a canister with a lid that resembles a pig face.

Push in the pig’s nose, place a treat inside and, in a matter of seconds, the treat will be popped into the air for your dog to catch.

Sure, it may be easier to just toss the treat yourself, not to mention more of a bonding experience with your dog. But why bother with that when, for $18.97, you can let the canister launch a dog treat skyward for you?

poppersThat’s the price listed for the product — treats and canister — on Amazon. A refill bag of treats, meanwhile — and we hope this is a mistake — is listed at $26.86 on Amazon. Other online sources have the refills in the $6-7 range. You can learn more at www.pighead.com.

It seems, at first glance, an over-priced little gimmick, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it evolve, perhaps into an app that allows you to shoot your dog a treat while sitting in your workplace cubicle, or a self-loading version that shoots out a treat every hour for dogs left home alone.

Imagine that. Your dog, if he’s anything like mine, would spend 59 minutes of each hour staring at the machine, one minute of each chasing, catching and eating the treat. Dogs would begin to worship the treat machine even more than they do us. They’d sleep next to the treat machine. They’d bark at anyone who threatened the treat machine. They’d follow the treat machine — once a moving version, like those robo-vacuum cleaners, was perfected — everywhere it went.

And we’d have nothing to do but lay alone in our cold beds and look at our arms, grown flabby after we stopped tossing treats ourselves.

Yes, we’re stretching to make a point, but, propelled by technology, the pet industry does seem to be going in that direction — coming out with products that make it easier than ever for us to pamper our dogs while ignoring them.

Purina’s treat-launching pig is a harmless novelty, kind of fun, and it still requires a human’s involvement to work.

But with automatic feeders already a reality, automatic treat dispensers can’t be too far behind. Once automatic ball tossers and automatic ear scratchers hit the market, we dog-owning humans could find ourselves out of a job.

It’s nice for our dogs to stay occupied, but we shouldn’t turn too much of that job over to machines and robots.

That will only make our dogs, and us, more robot-like.

National Dog Show this weekend

ohurleyThousands of dogs will take to the show rings this weekend in two all-breed, benched dog shows as the the Kennel Club of Philadelphia hosts the National Dog Show Presented by Purina, to be broadcast Thanksgiving on NBC.

John O’Hurley, of ”Family Feud,” “Seinfeld” and “Dancing with the Stars” fame, hosts the Saturday show, which will be televised at noon on Thanksgiving.

A second show will be held Sunday, with more than 150 breeds competing for Best in Show, vendors, demonstrations and more.

Tickets for the show — held at the The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center,  just north of Valley Forge — are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12, and are available at the door or online.

On both days, show visitors can watch more than 150  breeds compete in 11 show rings, view demonstrations and visit the dogs and owners backstage.

Unbenched, all-breed shows precede the Kennel Club of Philadelphia Dog Shows at the same site on Thursday and Friday.  Admission to those shows is $5 each.

You can learn more about the event on its website.

Dogs show their stuff at Purina Challenge

Some of the country’s most athletic dogs competed at the National Finals of the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge at Purina Farms near St. Louis over the weekend.

More than 30 canine athletes jumped, vaulted and dove their way into the records books as they competed in Olympic style events, including agility, Jack Russell hurdle racing, 60 weave pole, freestyle flying disc and the crowd favorite, dog diving.

Among those taking part was Olympian Greg Louganis, who competed with his dog, Dobby, in the small dog agility event.

Surf’s pup: Event added to Purina Challenge

Some of the most talented dogs from the West Coast descended upon the San Diego County Fair last week to participate in the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge — including some who have mastered surfing, an event that was added to the competition for the first time this year.

The canine sporting event also featured dog diving, freestyle flying disc, head-to-head weave poles, Jack Russell hurdle racing, and agility.

The 2009 Purina Incredible Dog Challenge was part of the San Diego County Fair and took place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on June 13th and 14th. Canine surfers competed in heats that were scored by a panel of judges, including U.S. Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.

Pointer takes top honor in National Dog Show

Here’s a look at the best in show competition at the National Dog Show, presented by Purina, and held over the holidays in Reading, Pa.

There were 1,505 dogs — 150 breeds — entered, and best in show went to Holly, an English pointer.

My votes for best supporting characters go to the Lhasa Apso who stopped in mid-strut to bring a little reality to the event, and to the johnny-on-the-spot staff member who, though the cameras didn’t catch the clean-up, was introduced by the announcer as “Peter Green, sanitary engineer.”