Have you got a dog that needs physical exercise and mental stimulation? Dog sports can help keep active dogs both physically and mentally healthy. All dogs need some degree of exercise, but most will thrive with extra stimulation. Very active dogs are ideal candidates for high-performance sports like agility and disc, though almost any dog can enjoy participation.

When it comes to dog sports and recreation, there are plenty of options. Consider these popular dog sports that can challenge your dog’s mind and body while reinforcing the canine-human bond.


Agility is a dog sport in which a handler directs a dog through a predetermined pattern of obstacles in a race for both time and accuracy. A course usually has 15-21 obstacles, like tunnels, jumps, tire, weave poles, and contacts. In a trial (aka competition or show), the dog runs the course off-leash and the handler can’t touch the dog. The human half of the team relies on body language and verbal cues, to tell the canine half where to go.

Scent Detection

The Sport of Scent Detection The dog must locate any and all hidden target scents within a designated area and alert the handler to the location. It is a true partnership sport in which both ends of the leash must rely on one another.


The new canine sport that is sweeping the nation, in which dogs and their handlers work as a team to locate and mark rats/gerbils (which are always safely held in aerated tubes) hidden in a maze of straw or hay bales


Disc is a dog sport in which dogs and their human disc throwers compete in events such as distance catching and somewhat choreographed freestyle catching. The sport celebrates the bond between handler and dog, by allowing them to work together. Classes are typically geared towards local competition criteria for Updog.