• Halifax Humane Society

Zibber - From Shelter Dog to Agility Champion

A little over 5 years ago, I adopted a then 3 year old Dalmation mix, Zibber, from HHS. At home, he has always been a very good boy. But when I first adopted him...

I wanted to share with you the success story of Zibber, an HHS alumnus.

A little over 5 years ago, I adopted a then 3 year old Dalmation mix, Zibber, from HHS. At home, he has always been a very good boy. But when I first adopted him, he had two dangerous behaviors outside the house that needed to be corrected. Because he has a very high prey drive, he would chase everything that moved including cars, golf-carts, people on bikes or skateboards, and every squirrel, bird or gecko that he saw. He also would get very excited and bark at every dog that he saw. I started working with him on basic obedience training and socialization. He picked up the obedience training quickly but it took almost 3 years to get some control of his prey drive and to be calmer around other dogs.

When Zibber was about 6 years old and his instincts pretty much under control, I decided to try agility with him. Even at that age he still had a lot of energy and was still very athletic. I enrolled him in agility classes at the Obedience Club of Daytona. He caught on very quickly. The instructors said that he was a natural for agility. A little over a year later, he got his first AKC agility title. Since that first title to now, a span of a little more than a year, he has earned two more agility titles. He now competes at the Excellent class level and we are working on his title in that class. When I don't make any mistakes, he usually does very well. In those cases, he usually doesn't just receive a qualifying score but often gets 1st or 2nd place. And this is competing against many pure breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds that are renowned for their agility abilities.

Zibber can also run very fast. He has an AKC Coursing Allure title. The AKC holds trials where the dog's speed is measured as they chase a lure over a course. In Zibber's trials, his speed averaged over 25 mph.

Zibber also has his Canine Good Citizen title. He is also a registered therapy dog with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and has the AKC Advanced Therapy Dog title indicating that he has made over 100 documented pet therapy visits. He has been visiting Indigo Palms nursing home in Daytona Beach twice a month for about 5 years now. This past September, he started doing a reading program at Imagine School in Palm Coast. Until schools were recently closed because of the virus, I was taking him there every other week for about an hour. Students from one of the first grade classes would read to him to help build their reading confidence.

Below are a few pictures of Zibber. In one of them, he's relaxing in the backyard with his favorite toy. The other two are of him in action. One is a closeup of his face as he's running a coursing allure trial. The other is of him at a recent agility trial.

I just wanted to share these achievements with you and let you know that I am so glad I found Zibber at HHS.


Frank Horvath

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