Folks, the world’s toughest dog show just got tougher for hopeful hounds. That’s right, the Westminster Show Dog Association has released guidelines for the 2022 dog show, which, for the first time, will include a new speed-eating section. Many fans are delighted to see Westminster adopt a category they’ve been demanding for years. Yes, many Americans have enjoyed all manner of nachos, burgers, and pizzas with their furry friends since the craze began in 2014. But for the official competition’s standard speed-eating food, the Westminster committee made a special selection: a Domino’s medium, two topping, $7.99 pizza.
My name is Sebastian Merrywood, and you may recognize me and my schnauzer, Treads Upon Soft Earth, as the 2019 Westminster winners. I’ve written this guide to introduce you and your dog to the world of speed-eating. Whether you’re an aspiring dog show champion, or just looking to show your dog off in front of your bastard neighbors, here’s how you can train your furry friend to down that bad boy in no time at all.
1. Choosing a command
As with any trick, the first step is choosing a good command word or phrase. Choose something that won’t set your little guy off if you just say it in casual conversation. The phrase I’ve gone with is “eata da pizza,” like I’m some sort of Italian-American. Make sure the phrase takes by saying it once and then eating a whole pizza by yourself in front of your dog. This creates a mind link between you two that is oh-so-essential.
Despite the many techniques you will see online, I prefer the middle-in method. This is where the canine spins the pizza on one paw like a basketball and eats in from the outside. If your dog knows how to spin a basketball, this will be simple for them. If they don’t, you can buy my Masterclass in which I walk you through the steps. More simple techniques are the fold-in technique where the dog folds the pizza in half and eats it in one mega-bite. That one always looks kinda funny though, and I prefer not to embarrass my dog.
They’re not gonna get it right the first couple times. I mean my dog did, but he’s purebred back to wolf times, so don’t expect our dogs to be on the same level. Use plenty of positive reinforcement such as a bone or the man-made alternative: the tennis ball. Think back to the first time you tried to do the Domino’s challenge in college and remember that, man or dog, we all make mistakes.
This is a safe and fun activity I recommend for all dog owners. Large or small, all dogs can fit the same amount of food in their stomachs, so don’t let that limit your mind’s dream of really chowing down with your number one pal. Subscribe to my newsletter, where next week I’m putting out a guide on how to train your dog to validate your impulsive purchases from Etsy.