The Soccer Collies are a professional team of soccer-playing Border Collies that play Dog Soccer Games at public, private, and corporate events. They are the entertainment side of the soccer dog project, bringing excitement to any environment where kids from 2 to 92 are present, although kids under 12 are our primary market.
Dogs, and Kids, and Soccer equals...fun, fun, and more fun!!!
Many ball motivated dogs can be trained to play soccer. Ms.Z and BEK are the original Soccer Collies. Ms.Z died in late 2013 and BEK is a retired senior and is slowing down but he is still a highly skilled soccer dog.
Honey was named Princess for 3 1/2 years when she was rescued on 8/27/18 we started calling her Honey because she is so sweet. She was afraid of a large ball at first and now still views a ball as prey, BEK views everything as play.
Honey's high prey drive means she pops a lot of our performance balls which are really soft. Her assertive play is promising and she's a great example of the type of soccer dog that you can find in the rescue world. She is also a powerful female athlete and an excellent example for young ladies that girls can excel at anything they attempt. Anything that you desire, you can accomplish with consistent focus.
Apple, is a Toy Poodle who attends events with the Soccer Collies. She doesn't push a ball around yet but she does a spectacular job of walking on a huge ball!!! Apple is our official schmoozer.
Bella, a rescued Border Collie was pregnant when we rescued her and added her to the Soccer Collies Team on May 8th 2019 which is right around her birthday. On Father's Day, 6/18/19 Bella had eight puppies. Bella had three pregnancies in the three years before we rescued her.
We kept Bella's last puppy, Lily named after soccer star Kristine Lily.
Bella, Honey, BEK, Apple and Lily visit assisted living facilities, elementary schools, libraries, clubs, during the week and events like fairs & festivals on weekends. Locally our market is from Tampa Bay to Jacksonville and coast to coast in Central Florida during the week. Soccer Collies also travels Nationally and has played Dog Soccer throughout the South from the East coast to the West Coast since forming in 2004.
Some of Soccer Collies clients: The Arc, Purina, AEG, the L.A. Sol, the San Diego Sockers, the San Diego Fair, the L.A. County Fair, the South Georgia State Fair, Chivas USA, AYSO, UF, UCF, USF, Brookdale ALF's, Elementary Schools, Churches, Libraries, Clubs, Municipalities, Parks & Rec., Celebrities, Parents & Kids & Dog Rescue Organizations, many assisted living facilities and events throughout the USA.
How can you help?
You can bring a basketball or a soccer ball to your local dog rescue facility and bounce the ball in front of every kennel to identify a potential soccer dog. When a dog shows an interest in the ball, take the dog to a play area and see what it will do with the ball. They usually all bite the ball. If they push the ball around, you have identified a potential soccer dog. Biting the ball can be dealt with through training. Weekly soccer dog groups share training ideas and have fun at your local dog rescue organization through a Soccer Dog Adoption Program.
Soccer Dog Training Tips:
Start with a basketball because they have a hard time popping them although some can and will pop your basketball. Basketballs are hard on their teeth so graduate to a soft ball as soon as possible.
Work with them in a hallway because the ball goes forward and backward more than all over the place. You do not need a large yard, your soccer dog just needs a lot of exercise. Using an empty or near empty room works great too. You stand in the doorway and your soccer dog brings the ball to you. If the ball gets past you, your dog has scored a goal.
The most important training objective is to get your dog to bring you the ball. Give them a lot of praise when they bring it to you. If you continue to go to the ball and kick it, they will think that’s what the game is and they will not learn to bring the ball to you. Be patient and encourage them to bring you the ball. If your dog is excited about playing with you (KEY – excitement) they will figure out how to move that ball around without picking it up in their mouth. Be patient, do not move around. The more your dog touches the ball the better their soccer skills will be.