The world of dog sports is a big one! Dog sports are very different from each other, and some are better for certain breeds, while others can be done by pretty much any dog. We picked a few of the most common types and wanted to share a bit about them. Take a look and see if any of these may be the right fit for you and your dog. Who knows! Maybe your dog is the next dog athlete superstar.
Lure coursing is a canine sport in which dogs chase a plastic lure pulled by a wire in a set course around a field. It is meant to be a fake wild chase, without using any live animals, and after all the times are compared, the fastest dog wins. There is practically no training needed to try out this sport as a beginner because it is based on a dog's instincts, making it a great first choice. This is one of the best dog sports for very active dogs that love chasing prey and running at high speeds.
A barn hunt is a sporting event in which rats are safely placed inside tubes to protect them from the dog's mouth, and dogs are released to search for them using their snouts along with their handler. When a rat is found, the dog alerts the handler who will yell out "Rat!". No rats are harmed during the trials. This is an opportunity to show how talented your canine companion is at sniffing out other animals. Barn hunting is mostly appropriate for active dogs who like chasing critters.
Agility is a dog sport in which dogs are put on an obstacle course using different objects such as hurdles, tunnels, and walls that they must overcome on time. The handler directs the dog through the obstacle course, to make sure the proper order is followed. The handler and dog must perform obstacle training before the competition, and obedience to commands must be strictly followed to ensure success. The dog that manages to finish the course in the shortest time is considered the winner.
Flyball is a team racing sport, where teams of dogs race against each other. It involves the use of hurdles and a box with a tennis ball that the dogs must release with their paws and bring over to their handler to complete the course successfully. This is a type of relay race and the first team to get four dogs across the finish line is considered the winner. This is a great fit for dogs who are active and love to run.
Freestyle is a type of dog sport where dogs dance with their handlers to a pre-set routine they have learned and practiced. These can be any kind of dance, hence its name, and the most creative and well-performed routine, as decided by a panel of judges, will win the competition. This is one of the dog sports that require great work from both the handler and the dog and plenty of preparation.
In disc dogs, the dogs will chase after a plastic disc thrown by their handlers, and they will be rated on their distance and ability to properly catch the disc. This is a sport that requires teamwork and practice, but it can be fun because disc throwing is also a casual activity for leisure that both dogs and owners enjoy. Dogs that show an aptitude for chasing and jumping are best suited to this sort of dog sport.
Another dog sport that relies on showcasing a dog's instinct, dock jumping involves a dog making a jump into a body of water, usually by following a toy that the handler has thrown in. The dog that makes the biggest jump is considered the winner. This sport is suitable for dogs who do not fear water and who tend to chase toys.
Dog sports may not be the best fit for every dog. Especially the ones who focus on the couch. Maybe one day they will have a Couch Potato Competition.
For all the seriousness of some of these sports, there are still some fun bloopers and goofs that happen.
Check out this fun video of some dog bloopers at the Crufts show that will surely bring a smile to your face.