Michon Mills, her Belgian Malinois ‘India’ and former co-workers Virgina Roberts and Lori Johnston, along with about 30 others, watch and cheer during the showing of the 17th Annual Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge National Championship at Bully’s on Saturday in Carson City. ‘India’ broke the world record for Dock Diving this past fall in the event.


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Inde the Diving Dog Seeks to Break World Record in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge

Have you been amazed by the physical feats of your own or somebody else’s canine companion? Dogs’ remarkable athletic prowess and their ability to perform always makes me appreciate their incredible, nature-given abilities.

I recently became aware of a Belgian Malinois name Inde who is soon participating in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge. Inde’s potential for greatness is remarkable considering she’s contending to break the Diving Dog World Record by jumping 33 feet 10 inches.

As a veterinarian, I’m always concerned for the health and welfare of my patients and the many dogs participating in the athletic realm as widely seen in the media. But, first, let’s learn more about an extraordinary pooch named Inde.

Inde’s full name is India du Loups du Soleil 

She was acquired from a breeder Michael Ellis at Loups Du Soleil Working Malinois 

She just turned 3 years old, although she was 2 years of age at the time of the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals 

She is unspayed 

She had no health issues related to her athletic performances (and hopefully won’t have any).

This year Inde and her owners plan to complete in the following organizations to try to qualify for their National and/or World Events, including the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge, Splash Dogs, Super Retriever Series, Dock Dogs, Ultimate Air Dogs, North American Diving Dogs, and X-Treme Air Dogs.

Health Concerns

According to Inde’s owner, Michon Mills – “She is truly a blessing to me and I am so very grateful to have her in my life.”

Now, let’s get back to the health concerns affecting Inde and other pooches competing in the Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge. Dogs that engage in a performance activities like sprinting and jumping remarkable lengths into bodies of water or other comparable activities (agility, earth dog, etc.) are more prone to suffering from trauma. There are injuries could results from day-to-day wear and tear or more significant injury can occur when a dog is doing the activities she loves and feels borne to do.

This is why its vitally important that owners of dogs competing in athletic trials work with their veterinarian on an ongoing basis so that a physical exam is performed at least every six months.

Additionally, the increased stress put on the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, spinal column, and discs can increase the likelihood that arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems (disc rupture, nerve injury, etc.) can occur earlier in life. Therefore, providing a daily dose of a glucosamine/chondroitin joint support product (like ActivPhy, one of my faves due to the ingredients and research that backs its effectiveness), fish oil-based omega three fatty acid supplements (such as Nordic Naturals Omega 3 Pet, etc.), and other nutraceuticals (turmeri, etc.) can help reduce the risk of injury and potentially irreversible health problems.

Keeping a performance dog’s Body Condition Score (BCS, as per The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center) very lean will also put less stress on all body systems and reduce the likelihood injury from competing or engaging in routine activities (walking outside to urinate or defecate, navigating the household our yard, etc.) will occur. After all, dogs that consume calorie-restricted diets live longer and are less prone to geriatric health concerns as compared to their canine companions not having led consumed fewer calories (see Effects of diet restriction on life span and age-related changes in dogs).

In the upcoming Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge, I’ll be pulling for Ande to break the world record and achieve a milestone not reached by any other dog.

Will you be watching the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge (on Saturday, January 17 from 3:00-4:00pm EST on NBC)?


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2014 Dock Diving Accomplishments


Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge 2014 World Record Holder – 33’10”

Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regional Champions

Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge National Champions

Splash Dogs Extreme Division National Champions

Super Retriever Series Elite National Crown Champions

Ultimate Air Dogs World Record Holder – 30’2”

Competed in 19 Dock diving events – First place in 18 events


Inde, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, broke the world record for dog diving, leaping 33 feet, 10 inches, at the Purina Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® National Finals on Sept. 27. The former record-holder was Inde’s friend and fellow opponent at the challenge, 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, Vhoebe, whose record was a jump of 32 feet, 3 inches.

Many of the participating dogs wore GoPro cameras attached to their collars, so you can see the races from their eyes (be sure to check out some of the footage in the video below).

TheBlot Magazine caught up separately with Inde’s and Vhoebe’s doggie “moms” about the event and what it’s like living with these record-breaking, four-legged athletes.


Dorri Olds: How thrilling was Inde’s record-breaking jump?

Michon Mills: It was amazing. This was Inde’s first time jumping. She’s only 2 ½. I didn’t know much about it, but I watched Purina’s Incredible Dog Challenge last year when Vhoebe won. I didn’t personally know [Vhoebe’s owner] Lise Ann Strum, but got the chance to go training with her and Vhoebe.

Had you chosen Inde as your pet because of her athletic abilities?

No, not at all, but when I got her she was environmentally sensitive to a lot of things. She was the weakest dog in her litter. I just planned to do some obedience with her. We did 19 [American Kennel Club] Rally Trials in one year. It was to get her exercise and make her more comfortable, but she just absolutely blossomed. I never planned the kind of stuff I’m doing with her, but this little girl has taken me to some amazing places, and I’ve met so many amazing people through her.

What is her temperament at home? Is she hard to manage?

I wouldn’t say she’s hard to manage because she’s very obedient, but she definitely has to be doing something. She’s not destructive or anything, but I keep her very busy. I’m constantly training or playing ball. She’s a dog that doesn’t want to stop doing things.

Is this a quality of Inde’s breed?

Absolutely. I don’t want to say she isn’t a good pet because she actually is very good, but they don’t make good pets for anyone who wants them to be a stay-at-home and live-in-an-apartment kind of dog. She has to be around other dogs and has to keep busy. She has, by far, exceeded any expectations I could’ve had. She has the biggest heart, and I’m blessed to have her. She’s a great companion.


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Cheers & Kudos: Thank you support as we head to National Championships

I have been blessed with my dog, India du Loups du Soleil “Inde”, a two-and-a-half-year-old female Belgian Malinois. We have been training and competing all year in various sports including mondioring and canine dock diving.

Due to our success in September and October, we will be competing in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge National Championships, the Super Retriever Series Crown Championships, Splash Dogs National Championships and the Mondioring World Cup. Training, traveling and competing in all of these types of events is very expensive. Without the financial assistance from friends and family, I would not be sharing this incredible journey with her. She has by far exceeded my expectations and while doing so, has taken me to so many new places and introduced me to many people I never would have met. We will be traveling to Merano, Italy, to represent the United States in the Grand Prix of the Mondioring World Cup. I am very honored and so thankful for this once in a lifetime opportunity, which would not have been possible without friends and family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the following businesses and individuals for helping us achieve this amazing goal of competing on the world stage:

E-Collar Technologies, Silver Oak Golf Course, Benson’s Feed Store and Dog Food, Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital, Rocky Mountain Raw Dog Food, Loups Du Soleil Working Malinois, Carter Canine,, Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers, Liaison Salon, Innovative K-9 Academy,, Varsity Pets, Kevin Sawyer Photography, Nevada Appeal, Carson Tahoe Hospital Quality Department, Aaron Weinstein, Adam Koehm, Aida Flick, Al Vinjamur, Alan Banfield, Alan Westmoreland, Allen Roach, Allison Jeffery, Angela Young, Ann Beck, Anna Anders, Annette Pattellos, Becky Long Mosley, Bev Borda, Bill Kranz and Melonie McEAchin, Bonnie Borda Hoffecker and Susan Borda, Brad Comen, Bret Akins, Carol Providenti, Carol Wesolowski, Carrie and Vic Mettler, Cassie & Ryan Swift, Cathy Shryock, Cay Snow, Chris and Marlea McAllister, Chris & Stacy Stevens, Chris Lamoureaux, Christeen Hanson, Christine Soto, Dale Berry, Daniel Schulof, Dave Della, David Broderick, David DePaoli, Dawn Nelson, Debbie McFadden, Dennis and Leah Syfers, Destiny Cook, Doris and Rod Dimmitt, Dr. Andrea Weed, Dr. Jeffery Basa, Dr. Kraig Knoll, Dr. Mark DeMar, Dr. Rex Baggett, Dr. Richard Rodriguez, Dusty Trieschman, Eddie Bindert, Elissa Cline, Eric Hamilton, Gail Marit, Garvin & Helga O’Neal, Gil and Helga Galvan, Haley and Daniel Goletto, Humberto Bobadilla, Idora Silver, Janet Dexter, Jeff Lawson, Jeff Vanatta, Jenni and Tami Jones, Jim Benson, Jimmy Vanhove, Joanne Grundman, John and Katina Silver, John & Margaret Silver, John Margolin, Kasia Pawlowska, Katherine Lena, Kathy Molina, Kay Mann, Kaye Juhl, Ken, Kati, and Hannah Gray, Larry and Judy Worthing, Lisa and Chris Griess, Lise Strum, Lori Bowler, Lori Johnson, Lorraine Foley, Lyn and Scott Livdahl and Amp, Margie Quirk, Mark Turner, Mary Smith, Maya Conrad, Michael and Carol Ellis, Michael Riggs, Michele Runyon, Mike Bechtold, Mike Vogler, Mitzi Sayler Hodges, Morgan Rohe, Neal McIntyre, Paul Ferrin, Patti Phillips, Rich Ruggles, Rob Boehmer, Rob Holt, Rudy Estrada, Samie Jones, Sandi Deurmyer, Sharon and Mark Bachman, Shelby Seibert, Stefanie Anderson, Steve and Laura Ann Price, Sue Cantwell, Sylvia Helderle, Tamar Warren, Tate Hayes, Thomas and Patricia Grant, Tiffany Geisen, Todd Dunlap, Tom Rolfe and Jan Hewitt and Virginia Kronsperger Roberts.

Michon Mills

Carson City


Originally posted

ONE GIANT LEAP FOR CANINE: Local dog in World Cup event

In May, Michon Mills and her Belgian Malinois, India, competed in the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge Western Regional Championships where India won with a jump of 31 feet, 10 inches, the fourth longest jump in the 17-year history of the event.

India’s jump was 5 inches short of breaking the world record.

It’s those accomplishments that reminds Carson City’s Mills how far her dog has come within the past 2 years and how well they do as a team.

“Just to have that kind of bond with a dog and how much we have accomplished together as a team is amazing,” Mills said.

Mills is a retired Washoe County Sheriff where she was a K9 handler. After her partner and friend, a male Belgian Malinois was put down, she was hesitant about getting another dog, but bought a female Belgian Malinois from Michael Ellis’ Loups du Soleil kennel in April 2012 and named her India or “Inde” for short.

Mills said India will never replace her police dog, but the bond they have is extraordinary.

“She kind of filled that void I had after my police dog, and has definitely created her own spot in my heart,” Mills said.

Mills was told India was a small and sensitive dog and would not be able to do all the things Mills wanted, however, she started training and Inde exceeded her and everyone’s expectations.

“To see her grow from the sensitive dog she was and how far she has come is great,” Mills said. “She has taken me to places and has introduced me to people I would have never met if it wasn’t for her.”

In October, India and Mills will travel to Italy to compete in the Grand Prix Level 1 of the Mondioring World Cup.

“I want to represent the U.S. well,” Mills said. “There’s only six dogs going from the U.S., we are the only ones competing in level one of the grand prix.”

There will be about 13 countries participating in the Italy championships.

The Mondioring World Cup Championships is a series of exercises to be executed by the dog/handler team in the categories of obedience, agility and protection. This can range from refusal of food, to retrieving and jumping over hurdles. Another exercise consists of protecting its handler from a potential threat or attacker. Each trial is set up with themes, props, scenarios and distractions placed at strategic points on the field. The exercises will remain the same from trial to trial, however, the order and setup will change with each judges’ own creativity, making no two trials alike and preventing the possibility of preparing the dog by “rote.” The purpose of Mondioring is to highlight the aptitudes of the dog, the quality of its training, the control of its handler and the genetic inheritance of the dog.

This is the highest level of Mondioring competitions and if India wins, she will be world champion.

“I would love to be at the top of that podium, but whatever the outcome I will be happy,” said Mills.

India is trained in Engagement, Obedience and Mondioring and all of her commands are spoken in French. Mills said she does as much of the training as she can on her own, such as the obedience. For the others, such as Mondioring, they train with the Michael Ellis System for Dog Training and participate in its programs, which require them to travel. In fact, they recently traveled to Utah for training.

“She loves to travel,” Michon said of India. “She’s not your typical house dog and doesn’t like to just sit around. She likes the traveling and training.”

Training has paid off well for Mills and India. They have competed in a total of 19 obedience rally trials, three Mondiorings, the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge and more than 25 Splash dog events, which Mills said is India’s absolute favorite.

“I can never get her off the dock,” Mills said. India competed in the Splash Dog Nationals in July and won the extreme division.

India has won many awards including a Canine Good Citizen Title and the AKC Rally Advanced Excellent Title. Mills said India enjoys the competitions and gives it her all.

“Obviously ribbons and winning events mean nothing to her, to her everything is just fun,” she said. “I think she’s a little dog with a huge heart so anything she can do to please me, if she knows I am happy with her, she gives it her all.”

Along with training and competitions, Mills and India give back to the community. India is a certified therapy dog and likes to visit nursing, rehabilitation and assisted living establishments. Mills said India loves bringing a smile to people’s faces and touching their hearts.

from the Record Courier | Link to article:

Dog From Carson City Heading to Italy for Competition

CARSON CITY, NV – India is a 2 year-old Belgian Malinois. In May she took 2nd and earned high scoring female at the Mondioring National Championships, earning her a spot at the world cup in Italy this October. Her owner and handler, Michon Mills, says she never intended for India to be a competition dog.

“She was pretty much just going to be my pet and do some mild obedience training, and she’s ended up being a champion everywhere,” she says.

India will join 5 other dogs representing the U.S. and is only one of two from the west coast.

“Being able to represent the United States in Italy for the Mondioring World Cup is absolutely unimaginable,” says Mills.

Mondioring involves a combination of different exercises in the areas of obedience, agility and protection. This can range from refusal of food, to retrieving and jumping over hurdles. Another element of Mondioring includes scenarios where the dog is tasked with protecting its handler from a potential threat or attacker. The scenarios and props used in competition can change each time, so the handler and their dog have to be flexible.

“There are lots of distractions in Mondioring. No trial field is ever the same,” says Mills.

India is also nationally ranked in dock diving. She recently competed at a western regional competition where she beat out 9 other dogs with a jump of 31’10”, which Mills says is just 5 inches shy of the world record. Before she heads to Italy, India will compete in the Purina Incredible Dog National Championships.


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