Mountain Home dog trainer opens NASDA regional chapter in Arkansas

There’s officially a new sport in town, and it involves dogs as Nevada native Beckie Bowers opens an official regional chapter of the North American Sports Dog Association (NASDA) for northern Arkansas.

Bowers leads Mountain Home Dog Sports through Facebook while organizing competitions and events in his garden.

“NASDA offers several games, most of which involve finding rats,” Beckie Bowers said. “There are a few who find the manager’s lost items.”

NASDA was formed in 2016 by Liz Carter and Sheila Gibbons to create a sport that allows dogs to show off their muzzle strength through a series of tests designed to mimic the historic working conditions of hunting and search dogs. Dogs of all breeds are allowed and basic obedience is not required for dogs to participate, although it is encouraged.

The organization currently organizes events such as trailing and location, urban locating and shed dog.

“With the trail and location, I have a bucket of rat litter that’s been soaking for hours. That’s nasty,” Bowers said. track is a rat. Dogs follow the track and get to the rat. They have two minutes to do it, and so many points earn you a new title.

Bowers said the rats are placed in special boxes that prevent dogs from harming them. When not being used in the trials, the rats are treated like pets, with a special cage in an air-conditioned room in the couple’s outdoor shed.

Joey Bowers, Beckie’s husband and master course builder, builds the boxes and equipment needed to perform the trials. The boxes are designed to withstand his dog, a Rottweiler named Logan.

“The cages are strong enough that my 100-pound Rottweiler, all it does is pry a little wood out of them,” Joey Bowers said.

Beckie Bowers has been a member of NASDA since its founding and is one of its current judges. His dog, a chocolate lab named Shock, is currently the No. 3 dog in the entire sport. Her husband, Joey, and stepfather Keith Bowers also compete with their dogs.

Beckie and Joey followed Keith to Mountain Home after seeing how life had changed for his three dogs.

“I think the biggest thing was that every time we were in town in Reno, my three dogs had to be on a leash,” Keith Bowers said. “My daughter helped us move here. So, there she is, and she’s filming our dogs running around the yard on 3 acres, and Beckie saw this and said, “Let’s go.”

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The couple, who both work from home as IT specialists, packed their bags and bought a house that not only had a huge fenced yard, but also an outdoor shed that could house all the equipment. necessary to organize competitions.

Beckie said the house has made one of her life dreams come true.

“As silly as it sounds, it’s been goals for years and years for me to wake up and be able to get out of my house and host my own shows,” Bowers said.

The Bowers have hosted two competitions so far, with members traveling from as far away as Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete in the couple’s backyard.

Like Teresa Vargas and her Border Terriers Spartacus and Betty Joe, some are just starting their careers in dog sports. In contrast, others like Mountain Home resident Pattie Sontag and her Belgian Sheepdog Ryder are seasoned competitors who have competed multiple times.

“I’ve wanted to compete in this field for ages,” Vargas said. “And so when I found out she was moving here, I was like, ‘Are you serious? So, I can finally do this stuff.

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Dog sports at home in the mountains

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