The nationally renowned team of “Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience” wowed audience members as they leaped, spun, balanced and performed unbelievable feats Saturday afternoon in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC). The two-hour show featured rescue dogs from across the country doing trained tricks to a cheering audience.
After splitting the audience into two sections, the red team and the blue team, challenges to test the accuracy, speed, obedience and agility of their furry friends dazzled it. The dogs’ abilities to leap more than four feet in the air, juggle Frisbees and dance between their owners’ legs were nothing short of spectacular. In the end it was the blue team that won, with record breaking speed zooming through an obstacle course that combined all of the challenges of the afternoon.
It was a show for all ages, and treated its audience as such. The jokes told, full of dog puns and a little bit of potty humor, were age appropriate. However, some laughs came from the adult jokes that flew over the children’s heads. There were, however, the moments when the audience was reminded that trainers Chris and Suhey Perondi, Abby Cline, Steve Collier and Sarah Carson, were all working with live animals. Sometimes tricks didn’t go as planned — dogs would get distracted or go too early — but audience members were still able to enjoy the spectacular nature of the show, and appreciate the difficulty of the tricks.
“It was wonderful; I was amazed at how well they were able to obey the commands,” said audience member Sue Cavenagh, who had come to the show as a fellow rescue dog owner.
The mission of the show, as stated by Chris Perondi, was not only to encourage people to play with their pets more, but to consider adopting shelter dogs. Each dog that performed in the show was a rescue from somewhere in the United States, staying true to the performer’s mission.
Between challenges that encouraged audience participation, there were little performances that showed the skills of the well-trained dogs. There was also a demonstration on training dogs in disc catching. The education didn’t stop there, however, as an awkwardly constructed rap reminded audience members to spay and neuter their pets.
During intermission and after the show, the audience had a chance to purchase merchandise and meet the trainers. This made the difficult stunts the dogs performed more accessible, especially when the merchandise included training videos and the discs seen during the show.
It was “dog-on fun” as the dogs danced and darted across stage. Balancing on their hind legs, jumping rope and jumping through hoops, the Chris Perondi Stunt Dog Experience excited and entertained in a spectacular show of trained and talented dogs.