Feb 04
"Every Dog Wants To Be A Superdog. Together We Can Make It Happen!"


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Our New Location


is thrilled to announce the opening of our new location at
Bay 2, 510 - 77th Avenue S.E.!

As part of our continuing effort to be proactive about responding to the needs and desires of our valued customers, and their dogs, we have designed a state-of-the-art, dog-centered environment that will serve Calgary's dog community for years to come. We now have more than 10,000 sq. ft. of space dedicated to reinforcing the human-canine bond.

Our progressive facility, still offering the best in daytime care for your dog, now boasts some new features that will enhance your dog's time in our Doggy Day. Four skylights over the play areas are a good source of natural lighting. Secure footing on  inch solid rubber flooring makes active play both safe and fun. Solid vinyl privacy fencing segregates dogs of various sizes, temperaments, and ages. And, as an added feature, to ensure your peace of mind, we have Web Cams in each play area so you can click in, from your home or office, and see how your dog is enjoying his time with us.

Superdog Spectrum's dog-savvy staff at the Dog DayCare have more than 55 years of combined professional dog experience. That's 385 dog years!! These committed people will continue to do individual outdoor walks on-leash with each dog. This ensures your dog has some important one-on-one time throughout the day and allows caregivers an opportunity to make note of any health or behavioral changes that may arise.

Due to popular demand, Superdog Spectrum has added the services of an in-house Canine Massage Specialist to the list of professional trainers and caregivers already on staff. Chris offers special massage programs for dogs who are training and competing in sports such as Agility, Flyball, Disc Dog, Lure Coursing, Schutzhund, Ring Sport, Hunting/Field Trials, Herding, & Mushing. She will also be pleased to work on dogs with aches due to advancing age, dogs recovering from minor injuries, and dogs that just need to relax awhile. Just call us at 21-SUPER (217-8737) to arrange a consultation with Chris.

Superdog Spectrum has long been known for our training classes such as Agility, Radical Recall, Superdog Games, and Canine Communication. The new Superdog Spectrum will continue to offer many of the outstanding training classes we have been known for in past years. The exciting difference is that now we will be able to offer our classes to smaller groups of dogs simultaneously in separate areas of our building! We will also have an area for drop-in training on Agility equipment and we will be hosting a variety of seminars, trials, and tournaments very soon.

You are welcome to visit our spacious new facility at Bay 2, 510 - 77th Avenue S.E., just north of the intersection of Blackfoot Trail & Heritage Drive. We have acres of parking both in front of and behind our building and our friendly staff will be pleased to show you around.



What's a Wrangler?

A. Well, they're not just the jeans that Cowboys wear!

What keeps drawing Hollywood back to southern Alberta? Obviously it's because we enjoy some of the most varied and spectacular scenery in the world...and most of it is nestled at the foot of a dramatic backdrop...our own majestic Rocky Mountains.

But did you know that over the past 30 years, we have developed some of the best and most experienced film crews in the world? It takes a literal village to create the scenes that make up the film footage that finally becomes a movie and Alberta is home to both Emmy and Oscar nominated film production crews.

Among the more respected members of the elite group of men and women who create the fantasy are those who work behind the scenes with the livestock. They are known as Wranglers. They are the ones who handle the horses ridden in a typical western movie but there are also sheep wranglers, chicken wranglers, and even wranglers for chinchillas, hedgehogs or spiders. Just think about all the many kinds of creatures that you've seen used in movies or on television.

However, in my opinion, the really special and talented wranglers in any production are the dog (trainers) wranglers. Why are they special and apart from the other types of wranglers? Mostly because the role of wranglers for other livestock is to care for the animals during production, and control their natural actions and movement in a given scene. The dog wrangler, however, might spend weeks in pre-production training the dog (and perhaps even the dog's stunt double or doubles) to perform the behaviors called for in the script. Then, as though their job isn't already filled with the stresses associated with the unpredictable nature of dogs, the director might require a change, on the day, and the dog wrangler must train a new sequence of behaviors during his/her lunch hour! Therefore, it is essential that dogs used in movies have exceptional focus supported by a high level of training in a set of basic behaviors.

It should also be noted here that there are "Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media" developed and enforced by the American Humane Association. American Humane's Film & TV Unit is the only organization in North America authorized to monitor animals in movie production and only they can award the famous "No Animals Were Harmed" end credit disclaimer to productions that meet their high standard of care. The AHA believes that no creature should be mistreated in the name of entertainment, whether that creature is a horse, a dog, a snake, a bird...or even a fly. It's not surprising to see hoe the AHA representative can be a wrangler's best ally during the filming of a movie. If the director, who might not be aware of the physical or mental limitations of animals, asks for sequences that might be unsafe, or not in the best interests of the animal actor, the AHA rep immediately steps in to intercede on the animal's behalf.

The owner of Superdog Spectrum, Lori Boyle, has several years of experience, and several movie productions, under her belt. Lori knows only too well that working on movies isn't all fun and games. The repetitive preparation, the long hours of waiting on set and finally the extreme pressure to "get it right" in front of the camera...often over and over again...makes movie work, well...work. Lori knows that there is a lot more to being a dog wrangler than bright lights and glamour.

First of all, you can't just train a dog and step into the movie business. In order to be a wrangler of any kind, you must be either a member, or at least a permit holder, in the Teamster's Union. You have to learn about the industry and know that professionalism, a high work ethic, and your conduct on set is key to being hired a second, third and fourth time. It is essential to recognize that delays can cost thousands of dollars so preparation is all-important. For days or weeks, a dog wrangler will work on a sequence to minimize the chances of a mistake or a failure "on the day".

However, we all know when you're working with animals, anything can happen. Preparation means being proactive...thinking of potential problems before they arise. Lori recalls a day working with Tom Selleck on the set of "Monty Walsh" when she had to work her dog, Caper, only a few feet away from a woodpile where several gophers were playing hide and seek. Caper instinctively went into "mighty hunter" mode and...well, let's just say it was a blessing that the AHA rep had her attention drawn elsewhere! By the time shooting began the following day, the gophers had been encouraged to play elsewhere.

Lori has worked her own dogs, as well as dogs belonging to other people, depending on what sort of "look" the director has in mind. In the movie "Shanghi Noon", filmed here in 1999, Lori was wrangler to 5 dogs, including Driver and Tegra (NS Duck Tolling Retrievers) who belonged to Shannen Jorgensen. Driver soon appeared again in "Snow Days" right in the opening sequence of the film.

Caper, Lori's once feral dog, has appeared in several movies and has also supplied the voice-over barking sounds for a dog who wouldn't bark. In the movie "Hitcher II", another dog wrangler was working a border collie that was supposed to bark, but couldn't be convinced to do it. Fortunately Caper was more than happy to supply the added sound for the shot. In a TV episode of "Tom Stone", the director wanted the dog in the scene to be a Mastiff which Lori was asked to provide. The dog was to be a guard dog handled by a bulky security guard and was supposed to bark dangerously at the "bad guy". Lori used a Mastiff named Boss for the scenes and anyone who knows Mastiffs, knows that they aren't known for being vocal. However, Lori figured out how to push the right buttons when she prepped Boss for his role and the director was very pleased with the results.

Lori has not only been a dog wrangler in many productions, she is becoming known as a cat wrangler as well. Lori's daughter Caitlin has a cat, E-Gor, who has a budding career in the movies and has now appeared two productions. In fact, in a film called "Going Down", Lori had 10 cats, including E-Gor, on set at once. Now that would test any wrangler's skills!

Watch future newsletters for more on the dogs trained at the Superdog Spectrum who have appeared in movies, on TV, and in commercials with Lori Boyle.


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