Bo goes for world record at Shell Factory
A film crew from “across the pond” was there, as were some of the most athletic dogs from all over North America and their owners.
But the dog that had the spotlight Thursday was Bo, a 3-year-old Walker coon hound/Doberman mix, who was at the Shell Factory’s Aqua Dog Sports Park to attempt a world record in “Big-Air,” the Dock Dog version of the long jump.
Bo, who holds the world record in “Extreme Vertical” at 8 feet, 5 inches, was going for the mark in the presence of Guinness Book of World Records officials, as well as TV producers from “Officially Amazing” a new show being taped for CBBC, a children’s network owned by the BBC in England.
Bo’s owner, Crystal McClaran from Cape Coral, said there is really nothing in Bo’s breeding to say that he would be such a phenomenal canine athlete.
“It was really a fluke. They aren’t water dogs. He just has some abilities not many dogs have,” McClaran said. “He’s a very calm dog, he enjoys running and exercises.”
McClaran, a professional dog trainer, rescued Bo when he was 6 weeks old. Bo wasn’t considered an athlete until she brought her other dog to the pool and found out that Bo might be better at DockDogs.
“Any dog can do it. You don’t have to be a champion. We have dogs anywhere from five pounds up,” McClaran said. “You can do it for fun or travel around the country like we do.”
Bo was kept in the dog house so he could rest up for his record attempt. That didn’t stop the other owners from giving their dogs a chance to show off and get some practice in.
Heather Hawk of Fort Myers and her dog, Frisco, a labradoodle, was throwing a bone into the pool for him to dive after.
Although Frisco wasn’t competing, she said she knows who will have the ice in the veins when it’s time to perform.
“Frisco is a pro, I’m always the nervous one. He’s out here to support the team because he loves ‘Bo Nose,'” Hawk said.
And the BBC was there to document everything. With hosts Ben Shires and Al Jackson, an American comic who lived in Miami for a while, those in Great Britain will be able to see it all.
“To be able to come home and hopefully break this record is exciting. I have to see 31 feet with my own eyes,” Jackson said. “I’ve always loved the Guinness Book of World Records and when I was offered to host, I jumped at the chance.”
Show producer Steven Parsons said the show came across Bo from online videos of him and found there was a world record for the high and long jump.
“We contacted the dog jumping and asked if we could come and film one of their events,” Parsons said. “They brought their top dogs for us to film.”
The crew had already travelled through Florida for several days, covering a record attempt for most Eskimo rolls in a kayak on Wednesday (he failed).
It has also filmed worldwide, especially in Europe where record breaking is huge. Parsons said their crew filmed 60-70 record attempts last season and expects to film as many this year.
Vicki Tighe, owner of AquaDogs Sports Park and director of affiliates for DockDogs, said it was a huge day for her and the sport.
“It’s very big for us and DockDogs. We have the best dogs in the world here today,” Tighe said. “Guinness spoke with our corporate office, and we were fortunate enough to be the facility to host this.”
Also thrilled was Pam Cronin, owner of the Shell Factory, as this will give the facility worldwide exposure.
“It’s exciting to have national coverage, much less international. We’re thrilled,” Cronin said. “Vicki has done a tremendous job with the place.”
At the end of the day Bo fell short of the record.
DockDogs is the governing and sanctioning body for regional, national and international dock jumping performance sports and his been around for more than a decade.