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Unlikely Breed Earning USDAA Titles

Zonda is the first Dogo Argentino to earn a USDAA title!


We've all come across that one special dog that connects to our hearts and souls like no other dog before them. There are also standout dogs in any breed that not only exhibit their breed traits, but also have an amazing personality.

Del Rio Zonda is one of these dogs.

Zonda, (pronounced Zone-dah), named after the winds that blow from the Andes Mountains in Argentina, is a Dogo Argentino. She may resemble a giant pit bull to the untrained eye, but to Kevin and Tamara Brucher of Surprise, AZ, Zonda is one very special and amazing girl.

"She's actually a Golden Retriever in a Dogo body," says Tamara.

At four-years-old, Zonda is the first Dogo to have titled in USDAA agility. She recently earned her Performance I Jumpers and Gamblers titles and is on her way to earning her Performance Agility Dog title.

This is a wonderful accomplishment for Zonda and Kevin, her agility handler. Zonda is deaf in one year and also battles Addison's Disease. Being deaf on one side has a few handling challenges for Kevin, but nothing they haven't overcome with patience, love and understanding.

The Addison's Disease is a different challenge for them. To keep her healthy, Tamara and Kevin limit her competition to mostly one day every few weekends, and then only enter in two or three classes. This short show schedule keeps Zonda's health in check and makes every title she earns extra special.

If that wasn't enough, Zonda also dabbles in barn hunt and lure coursing. She also became a Certified Pet Therapy Dog when she was 13 months old. To date, she's logged over 225 visits at care facilities through Hospice of the Valley.

Zonda is naturally a super friendly, happy go lucky dog. During one of their early outings as a puppy, Tamara and Zonda came across a family with children at a home improvement store. Zonda saw them and immediately went into a "down" and let the children come up to her and pet her.

She also has the ability to tell the difference between facility staff and patients during her therapy visits. Zonda is politely exuberant when she interacts with staff, but a gentle as a butterfly when visiting with the patients.

Tamara and Kevin credit Zonda's accomplishments in agility, pet therapy and all her activities to consistent obedience training as a pup, exposing her to a variety of people and places, and finding quality, positive trainers like the ones at Jumping Chollas Agility Club, who see their skills and potential and not a specific breed of dog.

Congratulations to Tamara, Kevin and Zonda for all of your accomplishments, but especially for being the first Dogo Argentino to earn USDAA titles! We look forward to hearing about more of your successes in the future.

Photo Credits: Photo 1: Hospice of the Valley; Photo 2: Ann Mulcay; Photo 3: Aleks Woodruff

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