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Who let the dogs out? Canines play role of 'ball dogs' at London tennis event

Kachi Wachuku in News 10 Dec 2018
  • Adorable canines play role of 'ball dogs' in recent UK charity event
  • The dogs were provided and trained by charity Canine Partners to fetch balls
Shelter dogs used at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo.

Go fetch! Dogs were trained to work with ball boys/girls in this recent London charity event...
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Move over ball boys and girls, the dogs are in town. This London charity event employed 'ball dogs' to fetch balls and it was the most adorable sight ever! Hattie, Tina and Melvin were professionally trained by charity Canine Partners for the opening of the Champions Tennis tournament, where they worked alongside other ball boys/girls. 

The furry creatures took to the court to famous tune, 'Who let the dogs out?' playing in the background, raising cheers and applause from the thrilled crowd. The pups helped retrieve balls in the doubles match which featured Mansour Bahrami, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Henri Leconte and Mikael Pernfors. Canine Partners provides trained dogs to assist people with disabilities. 

“Normally they’re used to picking things up within the job that we use them for, so we may drop pens and inhalers and they’re used to retrieving things for us, but we don’t generally use an awful lot of tennis balls,” Canine Partners Aftercare Manager Claire Anthony said. “We’ve been going to lots of tennis courts and working around self-control around people playing tennis and then retrieving balls and towels.” 

Former British No.1 Tim Henman was also involved in training the hounds for the December 6-9 event held annually at London's Royal Albert Hall. This isn't a first in tennis, ball boys were previously used at the Brasil Open and at an ASB exhibition event with Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova back in 2015.

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Who let the dogs out? Canines play role of 'ball dogs' at London tennis event

If you missed the memo, tennis might be going in a new direction in terms of who 'fetches' the balls on court. Trained ball dogs worked alongside regular ball boys and girls in this UK charity event.

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