Are you a fan of Agility and its superstars? If so, you may have seen lightning-fast mixed-breed dogs on the televised finals of the Masters Agility Championship at Westminster.
These talented athletes and their handlers, who have also tested their dogs with Embark, include Brio, and his handler Ali Park, of Fort Stewart, Georgia, the 2022 Top All-American Dog winner at the 9th Annual Masters Agility Championship at Westminster and Plop, with handler Lisa Topol, who twice captured Top All-American Dog honors at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club event in 2021 and 2019.
Spectators in New York City this year can meet Brio, watch his swab demo, and take a photo with a fun cutout of the top dog at the Embark booth on Saturday, May 6, 2023.
Brio, a then 5-year-old male, officially known as MACH Frost of the Pumpkin MXS MJS PJD MXF T2B CA DCAT, bested a field of 17 All-American (mixed-breed dogs) over two rounds of competition. Brio posted the fastest clean round of 33.69 seconds.
Watch Brio and Ali’s round:
A conversation with Plop and Lisa
Lisa was not looking for another dog when she first laid eyes on Plop. The magic happened on Facebook, where Lisa saw Plop’s photo. She said the fur on top of his head made it look like he had a small toupee, and she thought it was hysterical.
“He was just so dopy looking, I had to call,” Lisa explained.
Plop had been at an Alabama shelter and was taken in by a Florida rescue group, Ewenity Farms, where Lisa adopted him from. The rescue told Lisa that Plop was really smart and super sweet. They also admitted that he was very hyper and had no manners. Still, Lisa couldn’t help but want to take him home. Plop was about 8-10 months old at the time.
“We were a really good match for each other,” Lisa said. “All my dogs love me, but he loved me the second he saw me — we clicked.”
Plop and crew
Plop is one of Lisa’s four dogs. She also has Schmutzy, who is the oldest; Wedgy, who is a Border Collie rescue; and her latest addition Tinkle, who is a mixed breed puppy. Tinkle is Plop’s new best friend, Lisa explained.
He may be the smallest of all the pups, but Plop is in charge of the pack.
“They let him do whatever he wants,” Lisa said of Plop and her other furry friends.
She said that Plop is always on the go and constantly burning energy. He loves to play with Lisa, and when she so much as picks up a ball, his entire body will start vibrating in anticipation for the game of fetch.
Because Plop was overweight and rambunctious when Lisa first brought him home, she had to work on getting him trained and down to a healthier size. She immediately taught him impulse control, manners, and good behavior. Then it was time for agility; Lisa said he picked it up quickly even though he didn’t come from agility lines. Now, Plop simply loves agility and gets very excited when he sees it on television.
“Plop is very smart, and he likes to be right,” Lisa said of her special guy.
She does a lot of training and foundation work right in her backyard in New York City, but it’s just big enough to fit weave polls. She also teaches agility once a week and would spend a few minutes working with Plop after class. The pair practiced there occasionally, so Plop had a bigger facility to run in and could be trained to run faster through the course.
Plop loves Westminster
Lisa said Plop is like the energizer bunny, he can’t get enough of agility. Plop could run an agility course all day long, and five minutes later, he would be ready to run it again. He ran the Westminster agility course in 37.99 seconds in 2019, making him the Top All-American dog in the competition. The overall winner and Master Agility Champion, Verb the Border Collie, clocked a time of 32.05 seconds.
Some double magic happened in 2021 when both Plop and Verb captured their titles for repeat wins, a first in Westminster history. Each bested their earlier scores with Verb at 31.30 seconds and Plop at 37.73 seconds.
Plop’s resume also includes qualifying for at least two world agility teams where he represented the US. When he is running, people often yell, “Can’t stop the Plop!” Lisa loves that he has his own catchphrase and couldn’t be more proud of her champion.
Can’t get enough of Plop? Check out his Embark family tree here and find out what Plop is made of.
Ever wonder what your dog’s family tree looks like? Find out with an Embark Dog DNA Test! You may even discover that your pup is related to Plop!