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It is important, as a dog owner, that you keep your pet healthy and strong. A fun way to do so is to engage your dog in some sports. Dogs naturally love to play and love to please their owners.
Besides helping keep your dog in great physical shape, dog sports can also be helpful with other training needs. When your pet sees that following commands gets them praise and The Best Dog Treats, they make the connection, and training becomes easier for all concerned.
Participating in a dog sport can be a fantastic bonding time for you and your dog. You can make it as competitive or as laid back as you want and become closer to your pet at the same time.
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# 1 Flying Disc (Dog Disc or Dog Frisbee)
The great thing about this particular sport is that it can be played by any dog breed and with dogs of any size. Also known as dog frisbee, the owner or handler throws the disc, and the dog returns the disc.
It might sound very simple, and if you are playing in your backyard, it is. If you choose to play it as a competitive sport, it can be more of a challenge.
During the competition, the judges will evaluate the dog’s athletic ability during the chase, the dog’s speed, and resilience. The Judge will also critique the dog’s jumping ability, control in the air, and landing.
The “catch and retrieve” is the main part of the sport in a timed round. The Judge will be watching to see what type of creativity the thrower uses to toss the disc and how well the thrower and the dog work as a team.
This particular dog sport is relatively straightforward to practice and takes no special equipment, and doesn’t require travel; this can be done in your own backyard.
If you don’t plan on hitting the road for competitions, the Flying Disc game is an excellent sport for both dog and owner and is a great bonding experience while having fun.
# 2 Dog Agility Competitions
This dog sport is one of the most popular dogs sports and agility competitions and is often seen on television. This sport is fun for the dog and is also a bit of a workout for the owner/handler.
This is a fun and competitive activity that comprises a range of obstacles like jumps, tunnels, and other equipment pieces. The dog will either jump over, go through or walk along.
In this particular dog agility sport, your dog will move through an obstacle course with your guidance. Because dogs run through the course off-leash, your commands to your dog come from your voice and body language.
This means that your pet has had some strong and practical obedience training. Both you and your dog will need to have a degree of fitness. In competitive events, accuracy and speed are factors that dogs are judged on.
There are competitions for dogs of various sizes and strengths. There are also mini agility courses used for puppies.
When used for these little ones, it is for fun but has a beneficial aspect. Puppy agility is enormous fun for your pup and improves your control over your pup (for future training), and will build their confidence at the same time.
This is another sport that you can set up in your backyard just for fun, with whatever pieces of equipment that you have like tunnels and weaves.
# 3 Sport of Dog Obedience
This sport is one of the older sports for dogs. It tends to be a more relaxed sport. It does not involve high-speeds, chasing, or obstacles like in agility sports.
This sport tests your pets’ level of concentration and motivation. It is also a testament to the training you have done with your dog.
The competition in this dog sport involves basic commands such as “sit,” “down,” and “heel.” It also will have a retrieval portion of the competition. Your dog will move through a course, and at different points in the course, your dog will perform the commands for that point.
The basis of this competition is for the dog to ignore all distractions and instead focuses on your commands, even if those commands come from a distance. The key to doing well in this competition is training your pet to respond to all of your commands at the right time.
This type of competition relies on your dog is motivated to follow your commands. Your pet is going to respond best to rewards in the form of The Best Dog Treats.
These motivational training sessions will help in competitive settings, and also when you need them to obey at home.
# 4 Both Of You Get A Workout With Carnicross
This particular competition got its name from a cross of “canine” and “cross-country.” It is a sport that combines both dog and owner getting into the race. This is off-road running with your dog.
Your dog will run out in front of you, following directional commands. Your pet will wear a comfortable padded harness, which is attached to the owner’s waistband by a 2m bungee line.
This type of workout is great for dogs who are natural-born runners. It provides a great physical workout for both participants. Because your pet must also follow your directional commands, it helps your dog train themselves to obey you even in a situation that is a lot of play for them.
Woodland parks and forestry trails are some of the places participants favor to practice carnicross.
# 5 Flyball (catch ball) I Great For Energetic Dogs
Flyball is a very energetic competition. It is a team sport that runs on a knockout basis. Flyball has been around since the 1970s and is still popular today.
This obstacle race involves two teams of four dogs. In this game, the dogs from each team will leap over a series of jumps, then run to a box; at the box, they will activate a catapult machine with their front paws. Once the ball has been released, they will catch the ball and race back to the start.
In this competition, the team that finishes first wins, but, as the dogs don’t know that, they have a great time doing something they love. Spectators in this sport also enjoy the fast and furious excitement of this team sport.
Most dogs love to catch balls and run at full speed, so this competition combines the things that dogs love with the fun of a good game.
It is in your pet’s best interest to see that they get plenty of healthy exercises to stay fit. By combining that exercise with a dog sport, then it becomes a fun activity for both of you.
Besides being a way to keep your pet healthy, dog sports are an opportunity for you to bond with your pet and reinforce all the good training they need.
How many hours a day should a dog play?
For this answer, we are going to define “play” as attention from their owner. There should be about two hours out of every day you are playing with your pet, walking them, training them, and generally socializing with them.
Will my dog need their shots to compete in a dog sport?
Yes, if your dog will interact in a dog sports competition, you will need to provide an up-to-date shot record. Most competitions will require:
- The full sequence of DHLPP
- Rabies vaccine
- H3N2 canine flu vaccine
What can I do if competitions are closed because of the pandemic?
You can look into virtual rallies. AKC Rally® Virtual Pilot Program – American Kennel Club
has a program held virtually so that you and your dog will not miss out on competing.
Ian is an avid outdoorsman and dog lover. He lives in Central Florida with his wife Heather, and their 2 dogs – Panda (Purebread Rough Collie X English Golden Retriever) & Kuma (Blue Merl Purebread Rough Collie)