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Dog Hockey

Teams of rollerskaters and dogs match up against eachother.
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I vastly improved my skating and hockey skills by practising against my 1-year old Boxer. We had the luxury of a completely fenced in and mostly abandoned concrete tennis court. With stick in hand, skates on feet, and ball on ground, I would play keep-away against my dog. When the dog got the ball, he would keep away from me. It was hours of fun.

Then visiting my brother, he and I played one-on-one roller hockey with his Labrador Retriever getting in the way. The dog - Tobler - would occassionally steal the ball and proceed with a game of keep-away.

That led us to consider a game in which we had both dogs present and had them cleverly trained to only steal the ball from the opponent's team and then try to "pass" it to human team members. Conversely, the human- skater could pass to his - cleverly trained - dog to carry the ball forward.

Special rules requiring that there is a hand-off in each zone, i.e., the dog carrying the ball over two lines counts as a two-line pass. and so on.

Goesta Berling, Jan 04 2005

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       Boxers are very adept with balls. The problem is that I have to teach mine *not* to play football or else he joins in with the Sunday League games on his walk. So long as you bear in mind that dogs cannot easily differentiate between ball games they should play and ball games they shouldn't, this is a lot of fun. You would have to train the dogs to differentiate between people wearing one coloured shirt and people wearing another. Teams who wore red could not wear blue next week, the dogs would get muddled. Similarly, switching ends at half time could cause chaos. Still, there's enough of a good idea here to be worth training a few dogs for if you have the time. Lots of time.
wagster, Jan 05 2005
  

       Do dogs even see red? You may have to go with differently scented teams.   

       I keep thinking that, unlike humans, if you slap a dog with a hockey stick every time it has a puck/ball in its mouth it will soon learn to leave the puck/ball alone. It's going to be tough to build a team that can play the whole season. Dogs may be smarter than their human masters in this regard.
jurist, Jan 06 2005
  

       [2fries] - Dogs are red-green colourblind - blue and red or blue and green teams should do ok. They can also recognise shapes ok, but I should think scents might get confusing when everyone is running at speed.
wagster, Jan 06 2005
  

       The solution to team discrimination is hats. Dogs are very hat oriented, and can hate a guy with a hat whom they love when hatless. I propose stovepipe Abraham Lincoln hats vs Resistol giant cowboy hats.   

       Another issue is the dog to dog handoff. I am sure that smart dogs could be trained to do this. It may be that the sport evolves to all-dog teams.
bungston, Jul 12 2005
  

       Do the dogs get to wear hats too?
wagster, Jul 12 2005
  

       [jurist] If you slap a dog with a hockey stick you might hope it doesn't drop the ball.
Worldgineer, Jul 12 2005
  
      
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