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.
Rally Obedience can be described as obedience exercises performed in a sequence format, with the emphasis on an upbeat relationship between the handler and dog.
It is made up of a compilation of many of the traditional obedience exercises, including heeling, sit, down, stand and stay.
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.
This class will reinforce what you have learned in your basic puppy class and apply those skills to a sport which will help them develop their mental abilities and handler focus. Try Barn Hunt, Agility and Rally-O to help channel some energy and strengthen your bond.
Disc is a great way to exercise your dog both mentally and physically. We teach the disc sport, Updog. There are disc games that are enjoyable for both the human and dog.
Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from the start to the finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.