As the circus rolled into town last month so too did the Jratlou family, followed by a trailer full of their beloved show dogs.
As a family of four, Mohammod and Tracey have welcomed their daughters Amina, 14, and Naiema, 8, into the circus lifestyle along with their 11 canines.
To name them all proved quite a struggle but assured all have a special talent to complete the show.
Buttercup the kelpie, Bambi the toy poodle, Bella the dachshund, Zara and Bindi the jack russells and Narla and Tinker the jack russell crosses.
The kelpie cross blue heeler sisters Blossom and Bubbles, Mia the foxy and the list is complete with Mimi the retired foxy cross.
Mohammod says it all starts with love, discipline and patience.
“Firstly you need to love your dog before they will love you, then the magic just happens and each dog will show their own special talent,” he said.
Sit, come, stay and crawl is the primary routine for these performing canines.
“Once they have the basics sorted, We move onto circles, then hoops and the bigger tricks,” Mohammod said.
“I’ve got one dog who jumps from ball to ball and another one that does the wire, another one that does hand stands. Some are just extremely talented, you can just tell they have got a gift, and they can learn new tricks straight away.”
Travelling with the dogs 11 months of the year, Tracey says the dogs are family to them.
“We spend a lot of time with them, caring for them, training them, taking them for a run, it’s just a daily routine for us,” she said.
On point like her kelpie ears, Buttercup takes the centre stage with Amina in their duo act tumble roll.
“It’s a real family affair, the girls have their trick partnerships with each dog and I think the audiences can relate to the show because the kids are a part of it and the dogs are cheeky,” Tracey said.
Although the Jratlou family members say there is no place like home, Shellharbour in NSW, they agree the circus life is all they have ever known.
“It’s a high paced show but it’s what we live for and the dogs love it,” Mohammod said.
“My dogs are some on the best in the industry.”
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