Choosing the right sport for your dog can be challenging but easy if you follow these useful tips below.
If you are a lover of dogs then you must have watched at least one dog sporting event or show on TV before. It might have been a dock jumping or agility competition. After watching those show, you might have looked at your dog and said to yourself that it was probably something you would have wanted to try with him/her.
You have been thinking that your dog exhibits lot of traits of a sports dog when performing some exercises like catching a tennis ball. So why not see it something more challenging could be attempted. But not all dogs are sports dog or love sports as some breeds are lazy, But all dogs need some form of sporting exercise to stay healthy.
The purpose of this article is to give you the best tips on choosing the right sports for your dog which initially starts with knowing your dog and his/her gifts and limitations . You will understand the different types of popular dogs spots categories, training, and their popular dog breeds, and find out which one is right for your dog.
What to know before selecting a dog sport for your dog
There is a lot involved in Choosing The Right Sport For Your Dog and I have provided below some tips on how to know which sport is best for your dog. But there are certain thing you need to know about your dog before engaging your dog in any sporting activity.
The first task that you have is to assess exactly who our dog is. What breed is the dog (puppy’s genetics? What is its temperament or personality? What things do they like or dislike? Their size: How big or small are they? What is their confidence level? How is their persistence or drive? What kind of relationship do they have with you or their handler? How well do they handle frustration, stress or other challenges?
How do they handle something that they see for the first time? What are the breed’s specific calling? What are they naturally good at. For example you would not want a chihuahua to compete, in tracking completion where breed like German shepherds including other large breeds naturally obey commands to track and protect.
It is definitely factual that there are a lot of foundation skills and behaviors that would benefit them as dogs but you should be aware of were you place your priorities and focus, based on understanding your dog, as that will later on serve you well.
What types of popular Dog sports are available?
There are several competitive sports these days for dogs – Some of them you have probably not heard of or even considered trying with your dog if it is the right match.
below are the main group categories of dog sports and within them are several other specific dog sporting activities that fall with each group , including their breeds.
If you have an interest in learning more about how to get your dog into any of the official dog sports, then you should read on. Below is a list of 1o main dog spot categories
Main Dog sports categories
1 Herding sports
2 Obedience sports
3 Protection sports
4 Pulling sports
5 Racing sports
6 Tracking and hunting sports
7 Water sports
9 Disc dog
Why dog sports?
Dogs naturally need physical and mental exercises. Dog sports can provide them that physical and mental health that they need as they grow and develop their natural skills and abilities. Although all dogs do need some form of exercise, an extra stimulation from their owner can make them thrive. Dogs that are active are the optimal candidates needed for high performance sports to the likes of flyball and agility, although any dog that is healthy can also enjoy participation.
The are several reason that has made dog sports to be growing in popularity. The first being the ability to advance the training of your dog so as to make it improve its natural abilities. Regardless of your training choice, your dog will have a great improvement.
Second The implementation of dog sports with your dog is a great way to burn off energy which is sometimes necessary with some dog breeds as they can sometime become hyperactive when you don’t give them that outlet to burn energy which they so need, to remain healthy, controlled, and focused. That it so common with young adolescent dogs that have lots of energy.
Third, having some activities with your dog provides you with a great way to expand or improve your relationship with your dog, especially when you participate in competitive sports where you come across other dogs and dog owners to interact with. If your dog participates in a team sports, it can develop a team spirit by working with other dogs making it a lot more easier to get along with other dogs.
Finally, there is a lot of fun involved in dog sports. Even if dog competition is not your desire in having your dog in, just the idea of participating in training your dog in some type of sports, will help your dog to learn complex skills.
Benefits of Dog Sports
To get your dog to get involved in sports is a great way to improve its health. The increase in strength and muscle tone can let your dog prevent injuries, gain and maintain a normal weight. Obese dogs are known to have many health problems, and experts agree that the use of a solid exercise regimen with your dog can prevent hip dysplasia or at least stave it off. You can also benefit from participating in dog sports as the owner or handler. The fact that you you get your dog jumping over huddles or catching frisbees helps to keep you in good health and physical condition you would have otherwise not have been in.
The participation by your dog in dog sports can also provide very positive advantage on the way your dog behaves. A lot of people get involve in dog sports just because of their dog’s behavior as it sometimes drive them crazy. Busy dogs need mental stimulation exercises else they will eventually, and very quickly, devise their own form of activity which is not what you would prefer, like creating potholes in your back yard, chewing up shoes in you wardrobe, and much more.
Although these sporting activities do not eliminate all of the dog’s behavior problems, many of the individuals that do participate in dog sports agree that there is a general calmness, response and focus developed by their dogs as a result. Since most dog sports are built with communication commands like jump this or catch that, this ability to play sports with your dog through using commands to give your dog directions usually seems to cross over to create submission in their everyday life.
When you take into account the mental exercise that is provided by the use of structures dog sports you would find two things that that physical exertion does to the dog’s behavior. First endorphins in its limbic system is released which helps in making the dog to feel less frustrated and feels happier, secondly and maybe more importantly, they get burnt out and tired.
So many dog trainers have this mantra that a tired dog is a good dog. The amount of focus that is needed to complete a task looks like it is designed to work on double gear because of the structured nature of the sports involved, your dog exerts more effort in concentration on it than it would if he/she was just running around, wild, in the dog pack.
Which sport is right for my dog?
it is very important for you to find the the best sports that complements your dog that you also love otherwise it makes no sense to try it. Fortunately there are several dog sport option available out there for you to chose from. Depending on the evaluation you have come up with about your dog, he or she may have a likeness or an inclination towards certain dog sports.
Talking about which sports are best for your dog, it is no surprise that certain breeds are well adapted to certain activities. It is doubtful that you would consider enrolling your British Bulldog in a lure coursing competition, But for several breeds and mutts, the idea of choosing a sport is not as funny as playing a fetch sport with your retriever.
To put it simply, the breed becomes the boss well, kind of, in the real sense.
What might be looking like a fun activity to you could be something that can provide an engrained duty of satisfaction to your dog. The dogs come from an ancestral heritage that did spend most of their lives protecting, hunting, searching, solving problems and socializing. These skills are engrained and fixed in our dogs thinking or branded into their subconscious. Very often, most of these traits do manifest in the behavior of our dogs like: desire and love for water, unshakably loyalty, fetching addiction, barking at squirrels and sometimes what we do consider as behavioral issues like incessant digging behind the backyard, or anxiety.
You should try to identify your dog’s breed and its associated and natural tendencies. These natural actions will serve you as natural indicators to use in identifying any kind of sports that would be enjoyable and beneficial to both you and your dog.
How to get started in dog sporting activities
The preferred way to get involved or get started is with a beginners class enrolment. Most of the sport classes for beginners would require that your dog must have already acquired some basic training already some people just find some way to take care of that with prior experience.
But also there are several different option that are available for you to get basic training for your dog.
You can sign up for basic dog training classes, hire a professional dog trainer or even have your dog to live with a trainer for a period of time. Or you can start with basic commands like sit, stay, laydown, come, heel. This is usually a great way to bond with your dog and also save some money initially. You have to be aware that there is a difference between a sports class and an obedient training class.
There is no end to a sports class just the same as practicing sports or training in sports never ends. A single class might be taken several time to master the content before moving up to the next level. Serious competitors continuously practice and train.
One of the exciting parts about dog sports classes is the availability of lots of fun tricks to practice with your dog in-between classes. Even if you don’t have the opportunity or desire to advance and compete in any dog sporting event, working consistently and steadily with your dog is bound to strengthen your bong and build on your relationship.
Private Training Options
In some situations one-on-one private lessons are available and these private lessons sessions are usually conducted at the dog training centers. Sometimes, house calls can take place at your premises, but in some training centers options, you can also request for an off site location where training is needed. Some training centers even go as far as providing virtual private lessons held through video conferencing. Learn more about each below.
The most popular and desired dog sports usually are: Dog agility, This is accomplished by the navigation of your dog through an obstacle course. Rally obedience, which is navigating your dog through obedient exercises put in series. Nose work which is gear towards teaching your dog to sniff out distinct and specific odors, dog style detection. Flyball, a combination of fast and furious steeplechase and fetch, including free style, frisbee, with many more other options.
There are a lot of different sports that make it possible for almost every dog to have something to participate in one or the other. Below are is a list of some interesting examples and different types of dogs that are most suited for those sports.
1. Herding Sports
The herding sports does come from the past. This was a period that dogs earned a living by helping hunters. Their fist task was very likely, for the most part, the gathering of wild animals for hunters during a hunt and to make it easier to dispatch them. This task then evolved into one of their most common jobs today which is to watch over livestock flock.
But some breeds associated with herding do take these tasks naturally, but there are other breeds that are not so good at it. Those that took to herding in a natural manner were bred to become herding dogs. This allows us to be in the position we are now where some of the breeds are having amazing herding instincts even though they have never been to a farm. Several of the herding breeds still need to be involved in intense sporting exercise that had been obtained by their ancestors who were chasing livestock all day. These dog that have a natural instinct and drive for herding and need for energy are the perfect breed of animals desired for herding sports.
While a lot of these dogs may just be happy sitting on the couch because they have not been encouraged to do anything else, they most likely are having some natural instinct to herd.
The scores on herding trials usually based on herding abilities in conjunction with the type of livestock and course type The herding work does include skills like movement of livestock, control and versatility. Just as in all the herding sports, teamwork between handler and dog is of utmost importance.
Even if you do not have a dog that has the skills of an everyday working dog but has the traits, there are still several other ways for your dog to be trained to obtain those herding skills. But you will be needing almost on a regular basis some kind of access to livestock, be it sheep or chicken. You dog, without some kind of animal to herd will develop confidence in herding activities.
According to the International Sheep Dog Society. When dogs are participating in a sheepdog trial, a series of commands are used to guard the dogs to complete different tasks which is usually a reflection of their daily work with a flock of sheep. Each of the handlers will be having preferences when they are giving their various commands either by whistle, by voice or a combination of the two. Although some changes have taken place over the years, it has been very little and the older shepherds would still be able to easily identify the requirements that are being needed in today’s handlers’ events.
Most of the dogs that participate in sheepdog trial are usually working dogs having some farm experience. Usually the dogs and their handlers who make highest scores do excel very well at their place of work. There is some competing event called the nursery trials, a competition where young dogs that are having very promising skills can be noticed.
This dog sports which is very competitive and interesting did originate in Germany and then made as an official sport in 2005. Dogs must put together eight large exercise balls and must place them in one area which is usually a soccer goal net. A time of about 15 minutes is set and the handler is not allowed to move too close towards the goal net neither are they permitted to use any verbal or physical cues in correcting the dog. They are allowed to use whistle, words, or hand movements to give their dogs directions. These balls are called “rolling ship”.
How to participate in a Treibball competition.
Do you consider your dog as having some of the latent skills associated with herding? If so, why not provide them with a test? The good thing about triebball is that it gives you another option if you do not have access to real livestock. But if you are fortunate enough to have friends or family that posses livestock, It will be a good idea to to use their flock to try to desensitize your dog as the herd gets exited. You can then move up to other different skills as you work with animals. To your greatest surprise, you might find yourself in local AKC herding trial competitions as you enroll and train.
The behavior of all herding dogs is the modification of predatory behavior. By use of selectively breeding, humans have succeeded in minimizing the dogs natural instincts to consider sheep and cattle as prey and at the same time maintaining the dogs skills in hunting, and ultimately creating a very effective herding breed.
Breeds like the Australian cattle dog are fund of nipping at the heels of animals and that is why they are known as heelers. Same cattle drove function were used with Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi to move cattle to the meat market from whales to the London Smithfield meat market but these breeds are very rarely used today for herding.
Other breeds like the Border Colie operate by getting in front of the animal and using what is known as strong eye to stare the animals down. They are very good herders. The fetching or herding dogs do maintain livestock in a grouping format.
Consistently, they would go in front of the animals to force the direction the animals should go, either to turn or to stop. The driving dogs or healers would continue to push the animal herd forward. But they typically stay behind the animals.
Other types like Welsh Sheepdog, English Shepherd and Australian Shepherd are loose to moderate eyes and do work more independently. Dogs like New Zealand Huntaway do use their loud, deep bark to control a mob of sheep. Briards, German Shepherd Dogs and Belgian Shepherd, historically are tending dogs and act like “living fences” as they are able to guide large flock of sheep to go and graze and at the same time preventing them from consuming valuable crops and from going to the road way.
Heading trainability and their instincts can be measured during when the dogs are being introduced to livestock or during a non-competitive herding test. Individual dogs that do exhibit herding instincts can then receive more training to participate in the herding trial competition.
How to get started in dog herding sports
In order for you to get your dog started in herding, he/she must first understand and respond to most basic commands like stay, sit, come, and lie down. Your dog needs to also understand basic herding commands like “come bye” which signals turning the herd to the right and “away” which is a signal to turn them to the left. A command also like “walk” need to be learned which is alerts the dog to be behind the herd as it drives them forward towards you. You also need a flock and plenty of patience.
As for the competition in the AKC, you can enroll in the training and competitive herding trial which will develop and reinforce the herding skills your dog has by performing useful functions on their original training. Although their herding trial are merely simulations of an actual farm situation, they are tested to measure the development and characteristics of the breed.
2. Dog Obedience sports
As a dog owner, obedience training is the best training that you can give to your pet to make the dog an acceptable part of the family because a good family structure is based on rules and expectation for every member of the family. It enforces acceptable social behavior between you and your pet, and helps to provide corrections in annoying behavior like chewing up and destroying things, like jumping on people, digging, unnecessary backing and makes your dog an acceptable member of the family, entertaining and happy. It is an all around win-win.
When to Start Training
The sooner you start the better. It get a lot easier training a puppy the proper way to behave than it to train an older dog that might have already developed some very bad an unacceptable behavior. Yet is is never too late to provide training to your dog although you might have to have some patience as it might take some time to get the dog adopt new and acceptable behavior. Just like humans, every dog is unique. Some are laid-back, Some are hyperactive, Some are silly, others are serious; Some have a lot of confidence, While others are serious. Regardless of the different traits they exhibit, it necessary for them to be trained for the benefit of the dog and entire family.
How to get started in dog obedience training
You can start by practicing and taking dog training classes at home. But your local AKC club is one of the best ways to start if there is one in your area. The AKC training is just the first step as you can’t depend on the classes alone. Home practice is is very necessary and your local instructor should be able to guide into how to go about it in terms of activates to do and their duration. Although it is vital to have regular and frequent practice sessions, you should make sure that they are short and mixed with their playtime.
AKC allows all dogs pure and mixed breeds to participate in their obedience training classes. These classes are being taught by very experienced and well trained trainers who have won awards in obedience training competition with their dogs. They have mastered latest training techniques, have become familiar the training of all kinds of dogs and can most of the time resolve some behavior problems.
Your AKC local club would normally offer three types.
. Puppy classes that are geared towards dogs between 3-5 months old. This is where pups are taught basic household commands coupled with the way they have to socialize with other puppies and other people. You will learn about housebreaking, grooming and nutrition and ways to troubleshoot common problems.
. Basic classes provided for 5 months and older dogs. You will be taught the essential and necessary training commands that would such as stand, sit, stay down and come. You would also be taught by instructors about grooming, proper nutrition and and solution to very common problems.
Companion events classes: These classes are taught to get you and your dog prepared for competition in obedience sports including other AKC events like agility, tracking and rally You are going to learn about the different available competition levels and titles and ways of teaching your dog the required exercises, and is going to help you in learning the regulations for competing.
3. Dog Protection sports
A dog protection sport is one that tests the dog’s ability to protect itself and protect its handler. All protection sports tests are designed not only to test the dog’s ability to protect but also its temperament. The dog has to be safe not only to its handle but also to the public. He must maintain self control upon command.
All protection sports, to some extent, are geared or modeled towards how police work with dogs. Well trained protection dogs are expected to be affectionate, friendly, obedient and confident and will provide protection for anyone that he or she is assigned or trained to protect.
Protection sports is offered by the Protection Sports Association(PSA) is a specialized dog spots conceived and born in 2001. They host various regional and national trials competitions all over the United States and around the world. They have three regions i.e the West, The Midwest and the East with each having a director and also two assistant directors in each of the regions.
The regional directors permit the approval of club trials, they do host different regional events and do oversee competitions The main mission of this organization is the provision of competitive exposure for protection and obedience training program based on actual scenario. The have a mandatory entry level certification that is called the PDC, which has to be achieved by every competitor before they can even be allowed to compete at the levels of the PSA 1 to PSA 3.
In each of the successive levels that they encounter, the dog-handler duo is required to go through obedience and protection based routines that become more and more complex and very difficult when it comes to pressure from both environmental distractions and decoy in conjunction, the handler must have to strategize how they are going to work through the scenarios that involve tradeoffs between risk and reward.
As the scenarios in the upper level can be altered from trial to trial, each handler must be able various components of the exercise and the pattern training becomes a virtual impossibility. The higher the training level the more the surprise scenario components in both the protection and obedience are given to them.
As you can see, this is not a dog sporting event for every dog as it requires a lot of natural instincts, rigorous training to both dog and trainer to perform the various required tasks
The PSA is a one of a kind highly competitive dog sports not meant for every dog as it does separate itself from any other dog sport as decoys are being added during the obedience routine during the competition
How to get started in Protection sports
If you are interested in pursuing protection sports for your k9, then you should look for a Schutzhund clubs in your area, It is important to look for one that fits your lifestyle and and are providing a Schutzhund for beginners class. The reason you want to look for one that fits your lifestyle and you love is because with the demanding training needed for these sports you might want to concentrate and stick to one club to master the training, and avoid any conflicts or unfamiliarity that might arise due to your moving to a different club.
4. Dog pulling sports
The dog pulling sports involve activities in which one or more dogs pull a person as they are being attached to a harness,. This can be a lots of fun for the dog and their owners together. There are a variety of dog sports that make use of the harness that allows people and their best pet friends to participate in, ranging from dog weight pulling, to scootering, to canicross to mushing, to bikejoring, skijoring to dog sledding to dog carting. The form of sport chosen by anyone would depend on a lot of factors which would include type(s) of dogs, climate, the breed(s), type of trails that would be accessible, the budget, the equipment that are going to be suitable for both the dogs and dog owner, required training and the aspirations and goals of the owner.
Letting Your Dog Pull
Does you dog have the tendency of pulling and straining the leash each time you go walking? Well, maybe your dog can do well in a pulling activity. First find out the breeds natural instincts to see it pulling is one of them an try to make use of it. Pulling as a competitive sport and activity can be used as an outlet that give your dog what it naturally needs to be involved in. This sport is not only to large dogs or special breeds; dogs of all breeds and sizes can pull, but some breeds are more naturally inclined to pulling than others.
There is also dog Weight pulling competitions. The goal of this completion is very straightforward. The dog is required to pulling the shortest time possible, a wheel cart or sled loaded with heavyweights sometimes concrete or bricks are used for the weigh. The competing dogs are then made to race to the finish line by their respective trainers, breeders, or owners, although the race distance is small, it it made to be difficult by providing added friction in the form of carpet , snow grass etc. The length of the course is normally not more than 16 feet in length.
To make sure that the dogs are safe and well protected during the competition, they are fitted with a special harness which holds firmly on the dogs body to minimize the risk of injury or physical damage
Carting. Skijoring, Sulky driving, Sledding, and Weight pulling. Most of these activities are today helping humans to perform several important tasks. Sled dogs have been used in several occasion in the delivery of critical medical needs. Service dogs are being used to pull wheelchairs. Some of the dogs are happy to show off their carting skills during therapy dog visits and public demonstrations. The sport does have a very special and practical side to. If you are very innovative, I am very sure that you can look around your house and should be able to find task that you can give to your carting dog.
A lot of dog breeds mostly the larger ones are being used as draft animals by their owner in their business or farms by helping them to pull carts. Although that is not very common now, many dog owners who have dogs with natural pulling tendencies, still love to give their dogs to pull something. In some areas dogs are still used to carry groceries home, transport firewood, provide rides to children, or even pull their owners. As a dog lover, you must heard of the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which is a 938 miles dog sledding competition that takes place annually in Anchorage Alaska under very harsh weather.
In most of the carting and drafting competition dogs are provided with the challenge to demonstrate their mastery in obedience routines, how will they are able to maneuver with the pulling cart and also show their ability in load pulling.
Just as it sounds, the dog wears a special harness, pulling a heavy cart or object that is having weight on it through a distance to the finish point. If your thought Oh! Oh! that does not seem like fun to me or it is considered cruel, this might to be something you would want to try with your dog. some people will consider this as animal cruelty, But to others, it is a sport, But many dogs are very enthusiastic and happy about the pulling challenge.
As the competition begins, the weight pull is always at the minimum with either the lowest weight or an empty cart or sled it used in snow prone areas. the cart is pulled by the dog to a certain distance and within a time frame as his/or her owner cheers on, and them moves to the next round.
First this will help in adding some extra activity to the dog’s usual routine outside of just taking a walk. Second, pull does make a lot of dogs burn up a lot of energy. Third, as the dog pulls, it the activity help the dog to build muscle mass. Since the dog does the pulling without your effort, the dog pulls and gets tired while you are well rested as you might not have the time to take the dog for l long walk that they need to burn energy. while this provides an effective workout for your dog, it can also provide a another way to spend some time together with your dog.
How to get started in dog weight pulling
To get your dog started in weight pulling competition,, you should consult the following organizations that offer this as a competitive sports and they are
1. the United Kennel Club
2. International Weight Pull Association (IWPA)
American Pulling Alliance (APA).
5. Dog Racing sports
Dog (greyhound) Racing
The dog racing sports which is also known as greyhound racing is a dog sports competition which is carried out using a dog breed called greyhound. Is it considered a sport? arguably some people consider it as such. But this racing does not fit our traditional definition of a dog sport.
The sport is performed by the greyhound chasing of a lure which is usually an artificial rabbit or hare on a track until the animal crosses the finish line. This type of racing has been banned in some countries because it is associated with a form of animal cruelty. But in other countries, it is being allowed.
In countries like the United State, Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico and Macau, Greyhound racing is a form of entertainment and sometimes used in the gambling industry.
Some countries do practice commercial and others non-commercial Greyhound racing was believed to have first started in and held in Welsh Harp, Herndon during the eighteen hundreds and was supposedly considered an experiment.
Greyhound can only race till the get to the age of six. A lot of these dogs are adopted pets
How to get started in dog Racing sports
Check here for details about how to get started in this sport
6. Tracking and Hunting Sports for Dogs
Several dogs are very content in just spending their time sitting on the couch. While many other are seeking for some form of activity. A lot of dogs have a lot of fun exerting their activity with some form of action like tracking and hunting. So Let is take a closer look at the tracking and hunting dog sports. This are the kind of dog sports that should be considered to get your dogs involved in if they are having a lot of energy.
For the period that people and dogs have co-exited, they have always been best friend and helped each other. As the dog provide us protection, we in turn provide them with food and shelter.
Ultimately, as the union between man and dog become more solidified, people started making decisions in the type of dogs they would like to have to meet their needs and lifestyle. This way, we got some people preferring dogs with different traits and interests like herding dogs, scent hounds, site hounds and the like.
In tracking and hunting sports You need dog sports like the AKC tracking events that are a kind of k9 search and rescue competition. These event based on tracking are designed to provide some experience to dogs and their handler that have to enable the dogs demonstrate using their natural abilities of recognizing and following human scent.
This demanding outdoor activity is amazing for k9 athletes. Unlike the other events like the Obedience and agility that do require a dog to go through three qualifications, a dog only requires the successful completion of one track to earn each title. Dogs are very useful to mankind in several ways. While early dogs could help their owners using their natural instincts running around scenting and digging, traits associated with hunting, they also protected their owners.
If does make lot of sense that the process of carrying out selective breeding could not wipe out those natural traits even after several hundred years That is the reason that we still have dogs today that are still having hunting instincts. Dogs might naturally want to chase rabbits or squirrels, (hunting traits) Or perhaps they bark at neighbors or passers bye as they walk past the residence (protection traits)
Several dogs still maintain these natural instincts that can be put to good use. Training a dog to track and hunt does not only help the dog burn energy, it also helps them boast confidence in themselves This again helps in strengthening the relationship between the dog and owner as the training benefits both parties.
How to get started in dog hunting and tracking
The AKC provides the k9 search and rescue competition in their tracking events. these events are designed to teach dog and their handlers to be able to use the dog’s ability to find their lost humans or animal and to demonstrate the dog’s high level of scent ability.
Owners who engage in doing tracking with their k9’s find satisfaction in seeing their dogs at work using their amazing natural scenting skills to hunt or save lives.
If you and your dog enjoy outdoor events, contact your local AKC club on how to get some training. AKC approved tracking test areas
7. Dog Water sports
It is well known that a lot of dogs love the water. Believe it or not, a lot of very popular water sports today are being adapted to get dogs involved.
While some of the breeds enjoy water and can swim for an extended period of time, other stay at arms length and enjoy the water from a distance. If your desire is to get your dog into water sport, you have to evaluate its love for the water before engaging it into water sport rather than waste your time.
How to get started in dog watersport.
You can begin by taking your dog by the children’s pull and try to introduce him/her in the water by showing him how to enter and exit. You have to know that most dogs are naturally good swimmers. BUT NOT ALL DOGS CAN SWIM. top-heavy breeds like the Bulldog do not care for the water but there might be exceptions.
If you dog is hesitating to enter the water you can entice it with a toy that he/she loves to play with while on a leash. If that does not work, entice the dog with a high value treat and get it close to the nose while praising the dog for a bit of attempt the dog makes in getting into the water. If you succeed, try to provide an easy exit for the dog so that it can be confident that it can easily come out.
If you introduce your dog into the ocean, try to avoid waves initially as they might scare the dog. Use calm water to introduce the dog. It is very true that a lot of dogs do have a natural affection for water As a dog owner the responsibility is on you to embrace the favorite activities your dog enjoys If your dog enjoys the water then you might want to try some of the activities below
Water Retrieval : For the initial test, you should throw your dog’s most favored toy into the water and see if he would recover it. You will then start to appreciate your dog as a water loving dog. If your pet and yourself are able to develop a competitive edge, you can start looking into or participate in dock jumping competitions that would focus on retrieval.
surfing. If your dog has proven itself to be a proven swimmer and you enjoy catching some waves and to teach your dog the art of surfing. Surfing is more common in the U.S. west coast but If you enjoy surfing with your dog, you should look around your area an check the nearest beach and take some time off and vacation with your dog especially in a place like San Diego where you can also have a surfing class with your pet. Take a look at this video that is showing a San Diego dog surfing class.
Paddle boarding -Just as in surfing, if your dog has proven itself to be a good swimmer and they have been taught to balance themselves on the board they are definitely going to have a lot of enjoyment with you for hours on the water.
Very similar to humans, dogs have their different ways and styles of swimming While some of them like jumping into the water, some do take non aggressive style of swimming. These dogs do have some natural ability to paddle the dog’s way and have fun swimming with you.
Dog diving : If you desire more advanced swimming, as you dog has advanced in its ability to swim very well, you should try dog diving. Some dogs do really have fun when given the challenge to retrieve thing under the water. You can develop this art by making you dog practice this on a pool as a pool activity. Some weighted diving
Dock Jumping is a distance sport and is one of the very popular aqua events
Dock jumping which is also called dock diving is a sport for dogs to compete in distance jumping or at a certain height from a dock right into the water and the distance of the jump is measured.
How to know if your dog has an apatite for dock diving
Will your pet do just about anything to get his favorite toy? Have you noticed him being fearless and courageous when diving into water? If that is the case, then he/she might have fun participating in one of the fast moving and expanding dog sports, Diving Dogs! Just about any dog can do this as long as they have a love for water, know and love swimming and have a retrieving passion that comes naturally.
Diving Dogs sports
Diving Dogs sports is a great exiting, fun but easy sports to participate in having very simple rules. Your dogs favorite toy is thrown into the pool while he/she waits would wait on the dock just about fourth feet long. On you order, he/she runs through the duck jumps high by flinging himself off the end of the ramp up high into the water and grabbing his toy.
The goal is to obtain the furthest possible jump which can be as little as about two feet, but can also be as far as thirty feet for the more experienced dogs The dogs are being evaluated based on agility, speed an length of their jump. The measurement is taken from the edge of the dock to the nose of the dog.
8. Dog Agility sports
Agility sports is among the fast-developing sports in the the United States and for it deserves it. While it provides a way for your dog to have the needed exercise and burn energy, it also help to strengthen the bond between the dog and the owner. In addition, it is very exiting to watch you dog crawls through some tunnels, weaving around poles, and leaping through tire, and dogs also love it Here are some facts you need to know before getting you and your dog stated in agility sports.
How to get started in dog agility sports
For dogs to compete in agility sports they have to be between one and two years. Dogs that are younger including puppies may easily injure themselves as they jump huddles. To get started you can start training your dogs before they get to the competition age. You can start by training your dog by understanding basic commands like lie down, stay, sit, heal and come. But attending classes will be beneficial to your dog as it will get basic obedience training and at the same time be able to work among other dogs. Once your dog is ready, you can then look for training classes in your area by checking the The United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) directory in your area.
Dog agility competition is an event in which you give your dog directions as it goes through an obstacle course that is preset and within a measured time frame. The course are usually made up of about fourteen to twenty obstacles which can include weave poles, tunnels, pause tables and seesaws where the dogs are required to stop on command for a set period. During every trial, your dog and yourself will race through uniquely designed courses for the day. This is all accomplished by your dog relying on body language and cues you use to give them directions through the course.
The fun about this is that participation is available for all breeds which includes mixed breeds, from the smallest dog to the largest.
If you have not had the opportunity to attend one of these agility events, then you might just want to attend one.
It you want to try it with your dog, make sure that it is right for you and your dog.
A few of the things to want to check about your dog before trying this event is to make sure your dog is right for agility. How energetic is your dog? Does you canine have fun in running and quickly respond to instructions? How well does he/she get along with other dogs? If you dog has these qualities then then go for it.
But the training is not only for your dog. You are a critical part of the entire process. You do not need to be an excellent sprinter to participate in dog agility sports. But through constant training and development of very good communication skills, you and your best friend can make it in joining the dog agility sport family. But what is the best way to get this started?
Take a Class
Just as with any other sport, it is recommended that you start by taking a class with your local AKC club. The beginner courses are designed to introduce your dog and yourself to a variety of obstacles, and also teaching you all the basic. Most of the classes do meet just once a week for about one hour.
You can also practice at home with your own equipment.
Just because you enroll in a class does not mean that is all you need to do to practice. As practicing at home is very vital to your success. To accomplish this you might need to set up your own training ground with obstacles. Newbies usually begin with tunnels which are collapsible when not in use, and also get tunnel holders to get them stabilized.
For the weave poles, you need a few upright poles that are evenly spaced that you dog can go through. You can purchase all the home training equipment online or you can build them yourself using PVC pipes, which is the DIY route. If that is the path you follow, then you have to make sure you follow the required specs and regulations of the dog agility sports
You should count on spending no less than fifteen to twenty minutes daily practicing all the moves that you do learn in class. You should be using incentives like favored toys and treat as enticement to get your dog through the course. You should not be in a hurry especially when you are just beginning while both of you are familiarizing yourselves with the sports.
Time to Consider Competing?
The fun an excitement that the agility sports offers is something that can entice you to go to the next step of really competing. If you so decide, the best place to start with you dog to test his/her skills is with the AKC agility course test (ACT)
The ACT, is made up of three types agility trial competitions
The AKC recognizes and accepts about 150 breeds of dogs in the agility trials This is the most universal kind of trial offered
It is a variety of specialty trial given to dogs of a specific breed or a variety of breeds.
The is group trials given to to dogs of a specific breed like herding and other groups listed in this article.
9. Disc dog sports
Disc dog which popularly called “Frisbee dog”, is one of the dog sports that uses discs. The The disc dog competition, the dogs and their handlers who throw flying discs are engaged in some competing events like distance catching in some form of freestyle choreographed catching.
A team of dog and human can compete in the even of toss and fetch which is designed to complete several catches as possible within the scoring area or zone and in the time assigned. Points are being awarded for the range of distance. The spots strengthens the bond between the dog and its handler making them to work as a team. They prefer the term “disc” because the word “Frisbee” is trademarked by Wham-O for a brand of flying disc.
Some of theses events competitions do involve the dynamic free style which is made up of well choreographed method with music and including several discs on display. There are several categories that are based on the skills and handler experience, although the long distance category is divided and based on gender.
Very popular events in the flying disc competition are the freestyle, toss and fetch, and the long distance The toss and fetch event is a short distance throw and catch competition. Contestants are allowed to make as many throws as they can with a one minute period. The freestyle competition is an event that employs judges and the y have routines that would last for about 90seconds. And the third event which is the long distance use to be a performance carried out during the NFL half time show.
How to get started in dog disc sports
Disc dog is a very fast paced and exiting fun dog sport at al dogs and individuals can have fun with. This sports has been expanded to a whole new set of fun games. The good part is that dogs of all breeds can participate regardless of their type shape or size. AKC has disc dog tittles and to qualify your dog must have gone through several competitions earning medals and victories to compete for an AKC Disc Dog title. For more information on how to get started, check on the AKC disc dog program here
10. Dog flyball sports
What is flyball?
The flyball dog sports in a relay race that is made up of four dogs on the same team. The course is made up of a start and a finish line, four huddles and a ball releasing device. Each dog starts by running from the starting line, jumping over four huddles, pressing a spring-loaded pad that propels a tennis ball, catching the ball, carrying it in their mouth as they turn, jumping back over the same four huddles on the reverse side order, and racing to get to the finish line where the next team member on the relay team is anxiously waiting to take their turn.
Each dog is required to return their ball and go across the finish line before their team partner in the relay can start their turn. There is a human handler participant whose job is to encourage and coach the dogs in each team.
The competition begins with “On your marks – get – set- go!” The dogs run, jump, catching the ball and make razor sharp turns to race to the finish line. and that is the k9 sports for flyball.
History of the flyball sports
This dog sports that is relatively new was started in Southern California in the late 1960s. Dog trainers that were creative had to learn to jump over huddles catching tennis balls and running to a finish line. Other formats of this sports have added a mechanized box designed to launch tennis balls into the air. Herbert Walker who developed the very first flyball box and was featured on the Jonny Carson Tonight Show. Is it surprising that this fast-paced dog sports so quickly became a surprise?
This flyball dog sports did eventually explode in its popularity and became a sanctioned and well organized sports. The North American Flyball Association (NAFA) formed in the early 1980s as the authority of the games worldwide.
What does a typical flyball track look like?
Since the flyball sports is an official dog competitive sports, it has developed some rules and regulations. The format of its course has been made with precision and accuracy to guarantee consistency at every event. The start line is placed six feet from the very first huddle. The four huddles are being placed ten feet apart. The flyball box is being placed 15 ft. from the last huddle which makes the entire course to be fifteen feet long. The only condition that varies on this closely controlled and regulated flyball course is the height of the huddles.
Small dogs are very much sought after as team members. This is main because, since the relay team usually consist of dogs of different breeds and sizes, the height of the huddle is determined by the the smallest dog on a team. The NAFA rules clearly states that the huddles should always be placed five inches below the shoulder or height of the smallest member of the team.
It is this rule that has made small dogs being sought after as team members. With just one small dog on a team, it provides a great advantage to other member of the team because they have to jump over short huddles. The only disadvantage with tis strategy is that the smaller dogs find it very difficult trigger to the ball box.
Although the border collier of any team may only have to use its foot to tamp the trigger mechanism, the miniature Poodle has an advantage of jumping on the box using their full and tinny bodyweight.
How to get started in dog flyball sports.
Flyball is a fun sport that involves teaching your dog to catch a tennis ball with their mouth and holding it until commanded to release but it get more complicated than that as it is team sports and the team must work together. It functions as a kind of relay race where teams of dogs do alternate, as they jump over huddles to retrieve the tennis ball. This means that you have to look for a team that you can work with. If you have already had your dog trained to fetch and play with the use of voice commands then you should have an easy start. To get started in flyball sports you have to check online for clubs that are hosting seminars and as well offer on-line classes.
Now that you have been shown all the best ways to get your dog started with dog sports I hope that you must have found something that caught your interest to get involved in. If that is the case, have fun and good luck with your best friend,