Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Meet Disc Dog Champ Kirby McIlveen

By Julia Williams

It is my pleasure to introduce you to 17-year-old Kirby McIlveen, a CANIDAE Special Achiever. Kirby and her talented team of canine athletes compete in Disc Dog competitions across the United States. They not only compete, they excel, as evidenced by the many impressive records they hold. With her dog Torch, a McNab, Kirby became the first female and youngest ever at 17 years old to win the 2011 Skyhoundz World Championships!

CANIDAE is proud to sponsor Kirby and her dogs through its Special Achievers program. CANIDAE accepts only the very best canine athletes for sponsorship, and Kirby and her “Disc Dogs” are a perfect example of how premium dog food can contribute to athletic excellence. Kirby’s five dogs all eat CANIDAE food, naturally, and their good health and ability to excel at their sport helps promote the many benefits of a premium quality holistic pet food.

How old were you when you began competing in Disc Dog?

I started training and competing in disc dog competitions when I was 12 years old. When I was 13, I started freestyle with my Border Collie, Sketch.

How did you get started? What inspired you to try the sport?

I initially had a Shih Tzu, Lucky, who liked to play agility. I wanted to get another dog for agility, and decided to get a Border Collie. Sketch came into my life when I was 10 years old. He had a lot of energy, as most Border Collies do, so we needed another activity for him. We joined a disc dog class at an agility school. From there, we found out about the Disc Dog world and competitions.

How many dogs do you compete with?
I compete with five dogs, all powered by CANIDAE. Sketch, Flash, and Torch compete at a top level, while Blitz and Spirit are still “in training.”

Sketch - 7 year old Border Collie; Flash - 4 year old McNab; Torch - 1.5 year old McNab; Blitz - 4 year old Border Collie; Spirit - 1.5 year old Terrier Mix

Which dog is your favorite to work with?

I like working with each of the dogs as they all have their own unique styles. I am lucky to have such diverse dogs that do different things.

What records do you and/or your dogs hold in Disc Dog?

Sketch holds the record for the longest catch for a woman thrower in the USA with a 67.5 yard catch in Kokomo, IN. He is one of three dogs to win four Quadruped Long Distance competitions, but he is the only dog that has ever won four in one year and all in a row.

Torch recorded the highest total Open Division score in a Skyhoundz Qualifier or World Championship at the 2011 Skyhoundz World Championships in Chattanooga, TN. He also helped me to become the first female and youngest ever at 17 years old to win the Skyhoundz World Championships.

How did you do in events this year?

Sketch, Flash, and I travelled across the country to compete together in California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, and Vermont. We did well most of the events we attended this year. Sketch placed in the top 10 of every competition (that was freestyle and toss and fetch combined) we competed in this year.

I understand you are one of the top ranked disc dog competitors.

Yes. Sketch is the National Quadruped Series Champion and has won multiple UFO World Cup Major competitions. He made it into the finals at all five Quadruped events this year, four of which he won. He also got the Longest Catch of the Day award at four Quads. Sketch placed in the top 10 at the Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championships and placed 3rd in the UFO World Cup Series. He also qualified for the USDDN World Championships.

What CANIDAE formula do you feed your dogs?

I mix CANIDAE pureELEMENTS™, pureLAND™, and pureSKY™ so that they get an assortment of protein.

How does CANIDAE food help your dogs both in terms of health and doing well in their sport?

I feed CANIDAE because it helps to give the dogs the energy and nutrition they need to stay fit for competition.

What are your plans for 2012 competition?

The 2012 season starts up again in February, and the dogs and I can't wait! I want to continue having a great time competing with Sketch, Flash, and Torch! I am hoping to compete more with Blitz , and debut Spirit in the MicroDog (for smaller dogs) Division.

Top three photos by Dave St. Clair; bottom photo by Anabel DFlux

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. Kirby is an amazing young lady. I feel we are so lucky at CANIDAE Pet Foods to have her represent us during her travels and competitions. Her dedication to the sport, her dogs and helping newcomers learn about disc dogs is unparalled. Congrats Kirby on everything you have done this year and good luck in the upcoming year.

  2. That is so terrific. Doing the frisbee is so much fun. That gal sure is good at training those dogs. Good for her to do so darn well. Take care.

  3. Wow! They can jump high! Might have to get Austin to watch this, if only I could catch him in between naps!

  4. Kirby Rocks! A great competitor and a great person.

  5. Kirby and her dogs are an awesome representative of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. When they step on to the field everyone is ready for some great action and they always come through with some great moves and lots of energy!

  6. Kirby is an amazingly down-to-earth and humble young woman. Her successes have not gone to her head as one would expect with so much exposure. She's a pleasure to hang out with and talk to. Love that girl!!

  7. That is so cool! Congratulations to Kirby and her dogs on their achievements, and here's wishing them much continued success. :)

  8. Kirby and her dogs are amazing!!! I can't wait to watch them compete next year. They take the competition to another level. Way to go Kirby!

  9. What a great year for Kirby and her amazing dogs! Kirby and her dogs are, hands down, some of the BEST teams in the world. Kirby is one of the biggest influences for me as witnessing her relationship with her dogs on the field has encouraged me to come out and play with my dogs. Watch out everyone as Kirby is just getting started and will be rockin' the disc dog world for years to come. To compete against Kirby at the highest level and see the energy she and her dogs bring to the field is inspiring. Great Job Kirby, and I look forward to seeing some great stuff in 2012 as always.


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