There are so many sports available to dogs and their owners these days. You and your dog will probably do best at the sports that use your dogs’ natural bred talents, the best part of this is that your dog gets to do what he absolutely loves which will help make him much easier to train and live with. Often, dogs who have a job are much more content and easier to manage. Check out the list below for more information on some of the more popular sports and find one for your dog.
|Obedience||Obedience tests the ability of the handler to communicate with their dog. There are a set of pre determined instructions which the handler and dog must perform in a certain manner in order to pass. Obedience incorporates levels that begin with simple skills and move up to extremely advanced routines||Dogs who have a high drive to learn and play. Dogs who like to work with instruction from their human. Working and gun dog breeds tend to do well in obedience.|
|Tracking||Tracking is all about letting your dog take the lead. Handlers work their dogs on very long lines, after a scented track is laid the dog must follow the smell with their owner trailing behind. Starts with easy short straight tracks which are newly laid right up to old, long tracks with corners.||Any young dog will love the freedom of being able to use their nose with minimal imput from the handler. Ideal for hounds, but any dog who loves to sniff will enjoy tracking.|
|Fly Ball||Fly ball is a game of coordination and speed. Dogs take in turns jumping a series of hurdles to reach a ball dispenser they must push and carry the ball back over the hurdles to their handler. It is a team sport with dogs running in relay along side other teams.||Dogs who love to play with balls and run fast will enjoy this game. Working dogs and terriers do very well at it. Be aware fly ball competitions are usually very loud with lots of barking.|
|Agility||Agility relies on controlled speed. Dogs have to follow a course with jumps, beams, tunnels and weaving directed by their handler. Dogs work off lead and safety is very important so control is a major part of this sport. Some handler fitness is also needed.||Active, driven dogs will love agility. Any breed can participate and it is one of the best sports for developing confidence in dogs. Mesmerizing to watch.|
|Rally ‘O’||A wonderful new sport with a more fun take on traditional obedience. A series of markers with written instructions which the handler and dog must perform. This is the best sport for new handlers looking to make a start in obedience.||Perfect for any dog, any breed and any age. Wonderful for developing basic obedience with a pinch of fun competition.|
|Lure Coursing||A fishing line course operated on a pulley system is set up with a plastic bag being moved along the line at a very fast pace. One at a time the dogs chase the object as it moves along the line, through tunnels and even with changes in direction.||Any dog with a strong chase drive will love this sport. Ideal for sight hounds. Emphasis is on fun and allowing dogs to really stretch their legs.|
|Doggie Dancing||Ballroom dancing with dogs with routines set to music incorporating moves such as spins, leg weaves, walking backwards and other ‘tricks’. Dogs work in harmony with their handler with costumes and music.||Any dog who loves performing tricks and any handler with some creativity and a good sense of humour. The ultimate in freestyle partnership.|
|Endurance||Jog or cycle with your dog over 20km distance. Vet checks are conducted before and after the event and at set intervals during the event. It is not a race and is conducted on lead.||Any dog with a good level of health and fitness can participate. A health clearance from your vet is needed before you enter.|
|Treibball||Is all about controlled herding. Under the instruction of a handler dogs must herd one to several large exercise balls through an obsticle course or through a set of goals.||Working dogs who live in the city with no access to sheep or cattle love this sport.|
This list is by no means the end, there are so many other sports you can participate in with your dog. Visit your local Kennel Club or Canine Association website to find out more about the above in your locality and to learn about other sports on offer.