If you have a dog with boundless energy, dog sports can be an excellent outlet for both your best friend, and yourself. These sports can be an excellent way to give your dog exercise! When played safely and properly, dog sports can not only get your dog into shape, but strengthen the bond between you. No matter what size or personality your dog is, there’s a sport out there that will suit him! Here is a list of the most popular dog sports, and the basics of how they are played:
If your dog loves water, Dock Diving may just be the perfect sport for you! Dock Diving is the sport in which dogs compete for height and/or distance by jumping from a dock into water. There are several divisions for Dock Diving, such as Splash Dogs, Ultimate Air Dogs, and DockDogs. To participate in this sport, your dog will need a love of water, toy drive, and an ability to jump high and far. Larger water loving breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, and Belgian Malinois currently dominate the sport, though it is open to all.
Agility is probably the most widely played sport on this list. It’s popularity may partially come from the fact that it is not only a way to give your dog exercise- you’ll get a workout yourself! The sport consists of the handler directing the dog through a series of obstacles in a race for both time and accuracy. Some of the obstacles you might find on the field are bar jumps, weave poles, tunnels, tire jumps, and seesaws. The course difficulties range from beginner all the way to masters, so you can keep challenging your dog and yourself! Any breed can participate in Agility, but some breeds that excel at the sport are Border Collies, Rat Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and Australian Shepherds.
Modern Flyball is currently the fastest growing team sport in the dog world. This is a sport in which dogs relay race over a line of four hurdles with the objective of retrieving a tennis ball from a spring loaded box, and then bringing the tennis ball back to the start line. Each team consists of four dogs and four handlers. The first team to have all four dogs cross the finish line error free wins the heat. Although herding breeds currently dominate the Flyball world, the sport is open to any and all breeds or mixes- Jack Russell Terriers, Whippets, and Miniature Poodles have been seeing great success in the sport.
Disc Dog, also known as Frisbee Dog, is a competitive sport in which the handler throws a flying disc for their dog to catch. The routines can consist of toss and fetch, long-distance retrieving, or choreographed freestyle throwing. The sport celebrates the bond between the dog and handler, and is also one of the most interesting dog sports to attend as a spectator. In order to participate, you will need to purchase discs that are specially designed for dogs, as cheap plastic discs can severely harm your dog. Any breed can participate in disc dog as long as the dog is fit for high jumps and impact.
While you may be excited to dive into these sports, make sure your dog is in appropriate physical condition to be able to compete. Any puppy under 18 months old should not participate in high impact sports, as they need time for their growth plates to fuse together. We also recommend using Petfaves Hip & Joint supplement to make sure your dog’s body is always in top condition. If you are interested in participating in sports, a great start is to visit with your local trainer and ask if they offer classes in the one that you’re interested in. Good luck, and happy sporting!