Ripon pup put to the test in world championship canine competition

Wendy and Calli in training.
Wendy and Calli in training.

A Ripon woman and her dog will be the representatives for Great Britain in an international canine competition in Slovenia.

Wendy Pogson and her German shepherd, Calli, will compete in the four day FCI IPO World Championships from September 14 - 18, testing the discipline of working dogs from all over the globe.

The competitive sport was formerly known as Schutzhund, but was recently rebranded as IPO and sees the top breed working line German shepherds go head to head in three areas - tracking, obedience and protection.

Wendy said: “I’m very nervous and very anxious because I have never competed at anything at this high level before and it’s happened a lot sooner than I anticipated.

“I feel a lot of pressure because I want to do well but I have to try keep my nerves in check so that it doesn’t follow through to Calli.

“Whilst just reaching the qualifying scores in each phase at this level would be a good achievement, my aim is to score over 90 in each phase and secure a good overall score for Team GB.”

Wendy has kept dogs for more than 15 years but first started competing with her other German shephard, Kaiser, about seven years ago.

As a part working, part show dog, Wendy realised after a couple of years that if she wanted to go further in the competitions, she would need a full working line pup.

Wendy’s realisation led her to get Calli, who she has been training with now for the last five years and the duo have already flown out to Germany to get in some last minute practice ahead of the competition start next Wednesday.

But one of the most important aspects of getting a successful outcome is Wendy and Calli’s connection.

Wendy said: “We have a good connection and I love her to bits, she always wants to please and do her best.

“She has her moments and she can be naughty but she’s a dog at the end of the day and we have a good bond. People say to me they can see the connection between us.”

Wendy also thanked her sponsors the German Shepherd Dog League and CSJ Dog Foods, for their support as well as the encouragement of many of her friends in and around Ripon.