You may remember the time that Twinkie the Jack Russell Terrier went viral for popping 100 red balloons in less than a minute (39.08 seconds actually).
Since then the title has become quite popular, and broken by a Canadian, balloon-crazed Whippet. Called Loughren Christmas Star, aka Toby, he has been part of owner Christie Springs' life since he was 12 weeks old.
Now more than 10 years later, he’s a loving, good natured, gentle, easy going dog with a place in Guinness World Records 2019 for the Fastest time to pop 100 balloons by a dog
Toby's amazing skill was found by accident during one of his daily walks with Christie; after noticing a balloon caught on a fence, she let Toby try to pop it.
Once witnessing how fast he was able to burst it open, she remembered seeing attempts for the Guinness World Records title and thought it would be the perfect fit for Toby.
Together, they worked on practicing to see if her pop-tastic pup could become a record holder.
"I used a full board of balloons that would be used in the official record-attempt to practice popping once every three months," she said.
"But with smaller groups of balloons or single balloons we would play all the time. We even filled up the outdoor swimming pool with balloons and let Toby swim around like a shark to pop them, which entertained the community kids."
During training, Christie realized that cheering him on by name never worked, because Toby would return to her instead of popping balloons.
She modified her chants to “go go go” or “pop pop pop,” instead to motivate him even more during the sessions, and even made sure to use blue and yellow-colored balloons that are theorized as the color spectrum that dogs can see.
Christie advises that the trick should fit the animal instead of the animal fitting the trick: "It should be something they enjoy doing!"
It seems as though their hard work paid off as Toby broke the record not once but twice since he first attempted it!
In March 2017, he popped the balloons with an incredible time of 36.53 seconds. The following month, he popped them even faster in just 28.22 seconds.
After achieving the record, he enjoyed a tasty steak, had a pajama party and watched animation movies.
“The official attempts were such a thrill. He has been a canine ambassador and community entertainer all his life. He was very accustomed to performing for a huge audience. It was a blessing to entertain the community and we were very proud to do so.”
While Christie is excited to have such a stellar and impressive pet, she acknowledges that it took a lot of passion and dedication before getting to the final record-breaking times.
“If it was easy to get it would not be worth having. The process is structured, detailed and time consuming. High investment, high reward; it is a priceless achievement.”