Rock N’ Roll K9’s have a ball at Novi Pet Expo


Rock N' Roll K9's

Shetland Sheepdogs Cruiser and Cami rolling around the ring in their Mercedes .

Savannah Lane and Ben Mondrush


Dogs are some of the most common household pets and can certainly become couch potatoes or mischievous furry friends, but many individual owners of canine companions teach their friends tricks like sitting, staying, laying down and even catch. However, members of The Rock n’ Roll K9’s Performance Team go above-and-beyond in the realm of dog training. Traveling around the state of Michigan, The Rock n’ Roll K9’s put on a fast-paced, high-energy show in a way that only man’s best friend can achieve.

Founder of the company, Pam Koons, originally started out on a different canine performance team, but saw many things that she didn’t like. “Sometimes, you just think and say ‘I know I can do that better,’” Koons said. Koons started up her own team and made it into the family that it is today, which includes 40 members.

When not performing, the team is still close and see each other as friends. Koons sought to make a team that wasn’t scared to mess up during a show and wanted to make sure a variety of dogs could perform. Some slower dogs wouldn’t get a chance on other teams, but the Rock N’ Roll K9s let them get the shot they deserve. There are dogs of all shapes and sizes, including a dog with three legs.

Jill Mondrush, an employee at Johnson Elementary, owns Jedi, a three-legged, fifteen-year-old rescue who competes on the team. “​​He has taught me a lot. I’ve never owned a dog who I have to stay five steps ahead of. In his prime, he wanted to learn everything,” Mondrush said. Jedi knows many tricks and doesn’t let missing a leg slow him down at all. Jedi has always been very eager to learn and knows many tricks, beyond just sit and down. “He used to jump over my leg and then go under it. I don’t have him jumping as much since he lost his leg. He used to dance. He’d get up on his back feet and follow me around and dance,” Mondrush said. To have a successful team, people need to be in charge of many different aspects.

At shows, dogs of every shape, size and breed perform a variety of events that are mixed and matched to fit the venue, crowd and dogs that are there, so no two shows are the same.

One of their most successful events include their Grand Prix, where jumps, tunnels and frames are placed in the shape of an “N” and dogs participate in an agility style time trial as the dogs get faster as the event goes on. This event is high paced and the audience has to be warned to not get too close since the dogs run so close to them.

Another event is their “Double Dog Duel” in which two podiums are placed in the center of the ring with two jumps set on either end leading to obstacles that line the outer sides of the ring. When the music starts, two dogs go around the outside of the ring and the first ones to jump back onto their podium wins. Other events include Relay Race, Weave Challenge, High Jump and Musical Mats.

The Rock n’ Roll K9’s perform in various venues and locations throughout Michigan and in the past have even been invited to perform in Chicago. While currently in the off season after the Novi Pet Expo in Novi, they can even be seen Memorial Day Weekend in Frankenmuth as part of this year’s Dog Bowl. Over the summer, they can be seen at the Michigan State Fair Labor Day Weekend as well as various smaller shows that have yet to be determined.

These dogs are so impressive to watch and the training that goes into getting these canines prepared for shows is really incredible. Seeing them in action brings a joy that can’t be found anywhere else.