Alison Britton and her six border collies Buddy, GT, Coco, Logic, Focus and Rumour who are mad about Frisbees.
Alison Britton and her six border collies Buddy, GT, Coco, Logic, Focus and Rumour who are mad about Frisbees. Renee Pilcher

Collies double as disc dogs

THERE'S a lot to love about border collies, not just their ability with a Frisbee.

Breeder and president of the Gympie Canine Disc Dog Club Alison Britton has six, including open champion Focus.

"Why wouldn't you like them?" she asked when The Gympie Times tried to find out why she loved the breed.

"They're intelligent, loyal and they're just good pets."

Alison, who works at Gympie Regional Council when she is not playing Frisbee with her dogs, has been breeding her favourite animals for five years and founded the club four years ago after moving to Curra.

The animal lover lived "all over" Australia before coming to the Gympie Region.

When a few of her friends, who had just returned from a trip to America, started their own club she thought it would be a good idea. "I wanted to expand Frisbee," she said.

To be a disc dog, you have to have skills and obedience, Alison said.

Training starts young when you are a potential champion, like four-year-old Focus (novice champ in 2010, open champ 2011) - Alison's newest addition to the family, Logic (six weeks) has already started.

Mum Rumour, 4, Coco, 7, GT, 6, and Focus will all compete at the Gympie Region Championships in Curra today and tomorrow.

Alison's first dog Buddy, 12, has retired from the sport but will be on hand to collect the discs after play.

Alison has taught them all herself, she competes with them all over Queensland most weekends in dog agility trials.

"They're so intelligent. I use positive training and started with tricks like sitting, dropping and begging."

With only a few words Alison has the dogs running around the field behind the Curra country club. Another word and they're all waiting in a line for her to throw the Frisbee.

"They love it," she said.

Alison said she loved it just as much.

"It's fun, a good way to exercise them."

Alison said the disc dog sport was for anyone.

"It's much less challenging to teach a dog to catch a Frisbee than do an agility course."

Gympie Times


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