Does your dog love to run, swim, or play fetch? Does your dog seem to have endless amounts of energy? Or maybe your dog is a beautiful purebred and you want to show him off a little. Do you want to compete in competitive obedience? Are you just looking for something fun to do with your dog? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then this blog post is for you! The dog sport world is huge, and there are so many different sports! In some sports, people work towards competition the dog’s entire life from the first day they bring them home. Other sports are just for fun. I have compiled a list of X dog sports. Check it out, then go out and try one with your dog!
Agility – Agility is very famous in the dog world. Dog and handler must work together while the dog races the clock to negotiate an obstacle course. Agility is a great mental and physical workout for both handler and dog. The handler must memorize the order of obstacles then try to keep up with their dog to guide them from one to the next. The dog runs the course as fast as he can, while still watching the handler to see where to go next. Agility can be a fun hobby, or a lifelong competition career. Either way, it is a very fun way to bond with your dog.
Find out more about agility and AKC sanctioned events on the AKC website here. Find out about Valor K9 Academy – Spokane’s Open Agility on our facebook page here.
Flyball – Flyball is a sport in which dogs race each other in long lanes, jumping over a set of hurdles and hitting a spring loaded box that shoots a tennis ball out. The dog grabs the ball, and returns over the hurdles. This is sometimes done in teams of four dogs, where when one dog crosses the finish line, the next dog runs. The first team to finish wins.
Find out more about flyball here.
Lure Coursing – Lure coursing is a sport in which a mechanical system of pulleys and lures pulls a lure across an open area. It’s quick changing directions simulate darting prey. In AKC competitions, only sighthound breeds (such as greyhounds, irish wolfhounds, salukis, and whippets) are eligible to compete. However, as a hobby, any dog can participate.
Find out more about AKC lure coursing here.
Treibball – Treibball is a fun new sport for dogs that like to herd, but without the need for livestock. The sport combines obedience commands with herding cues to encourage the dog to push multiple inflated balls into a goal. It is a great low impact sport for dog and handler, and any breed can participate.
Find out more about treibball here and here.
Dock Diving – If your dog loves water, this sport is for you! The handler and dog start on a long platform next to a rectangle pool. The handler puts the dog in a stay at one end (in a sit, down, or stand), then walks to the end of the platform with the dog’s favorite toy. The handler then releases the dog and tosses the toy into the water just before the dog gets to it. The dog then launches himself into the water after the toy. The goal is for the dog to jump further than any other dog in his category. There are many dock dog competitions, but many people do it just for fun as well.
Find out more about dock jumping here.
Schutzhund / IPO – Schutzhund and IPO were both developed in Germany for the same purpose; to test German Shepherds to breed standard. IPO is the international standard, but they have virtually the same standards. IPO stands for Internationale Prüfungs-Ordnung. It originated as a breed test for the German Shepherd Dog, but has become a popular sport for other dogs as well, including Belgian Malinois, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Cane Corsos, Giant Schnauzers, among others. This sport consists of three categories: Obedience, tracking, and protection. There are also different levels of titles for IPO, from SchH 1/ IPO 1 (beginner level) to SchH 3/ IPO 3(advanced level) Dogs can also earn a BH title (basic obedience and temperament), FH (advanced tracking), and more.
To find out more about Schutzhund and IPO, click here and here. Pictured below: Havok’s sire, Barry von Casa Arado, has the Schutzhund III title!
Photo credit: working-dog.com
Barn Hunt – In Barn Hunt, dogs locate rats (safely enclosed in aerated tubes) hidden in a straw/hay bale maze. It’s a timed event with 3 different dog height divisions. Teams can get titles, placements, and championships. Don’t worry, no rats are harmed in this game!
To learn more, click here!
We hope this list inspires you to get out there and have fun with your dog! Happy Training!!
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