Dogs love sports, maybe even more than we do, and they are quite the athletes too. It may take a little time to find the sport that is right for your Fido, but once you do you won't regret the search. The best sports to do with your dog are fun and productive. Not only are they a great bonding experience for the two of you, they'll keep you healthy too!
The sport that your dog is best suited for will have a lot to do with his size and energy level. You shouldn't choose a sport because you like it. For example, you may think dock diving is really cool, but if your pup isn't a good swimmer that's going not going to be a very good choice.
Dogs need to be mentally and physically challenged in order to stay happy and fit. By getting involved in sports your dog will absolutely thrive. Dog sports will bring out your dog’s natural instincts, which are essential to his happiness.
10 Best Sports to Do with Your Dog
Does your dog love running and chasing balls? If so flyball could be the ideal sport for your best friend. Basically flyball is a relay race for dogs. The dogs are separated into teams of four and they have to jump over many hurdles in order to get a tennis ball, which is released from a box.
Your dog will have to step on a pad in order to retrieve the tennis ball. Then once he has the tennis ball he runs back to the starting gate and the next dog takes their turn.
Flyball is suitable for all dogs, making it one of the best sports to do with your dog. It is most popular amongst breeds like Whippets, Border Collies and Jack Russells.
2. Sheepdog Trials
If you’re the proud owner of a sheepdog, then this sport is spot on. What your dog has to do is to try and herd a small flock of sheep around an obstacle course and then over bridges to try and get the flock of sheep successfully back into the pen.
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There are more advanced trials that your dog can take part in too which will involve him having to separate the sheep into smaller groups. This is what’s known as “shedding.”
If you own a border collie or another herding breed, then this is one of the best sports to do with your dog. He is going to absolutely love it! Your dog will get lots of exercise and will be mentally and physically challenged.
This is one of the most challenging sports for your dog. Your dog will be required to run through a very complicated obstacle course and as he runs he is judged.
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The accuracy of the run is carefully watched, and your dog will also be timed. You can only guide your dog through the obstacle course by your voice and with the use of hand signals.
The obstacles that your Fido will be facing include tunnels, weave poles, teeter totters, hurdles and pyramids. This is a very fast sport and is suitable for all dogs. It really will challenge your dog’s body and mind. With agility you and your dog will become healthier – your dog will be running through all the obstacles and you will be running alongside him trying to guide.
4. Dock Diving
Dock diving is an aquatic sport that began in 1997, and it involves your dog competing against other dogs. He will be on an elevated platform and will then have to jump into a pool of water. The dog that jumps the farthest is the winner.
This is a very popular sport for dogs now and is frequently on television too. It is one of the best sports to do with your dog, as all dogs can take part. However, we will mostly see Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers over other breeds. It’s a great dog sport, and if your dog loves water it’s definitely a winner.
5. Terrier Trials
This is a very fast sport, it’s a case of blink and you’ll miss it – it really goes that quickly. Basically this sport is a steeplechase for terriers. The gist of it is that all the dogs will chase a piece of fur around the obstacle course, and the one who gets to the finish first is the winner.
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This sport is ideal for Jack Russells, and if you have a fast little terrier at home then this sport will be perfect.
Your dog will be kept fit and will be mentally challenged too. Keep in mind that this is only one of the best sports to do with your dog if you happen to have one of the many breeds of terriers.
6. Lure Coursing
In lure coursing your dog will be chasing a mechanical lure, and the distance can be anywhere up to 1,000 yards. The lure has been designed so that it simulates a live prey, for instance, a hare. There will be one or two groups, and usually they are separated by breed.
The groups are then judged on their speed, focus on the prey, how enthusiastic they are and also agility. If you have a hound breed, then this sport will make an excellent choice. Dogs that will love this sport include greyhounds, Afgan Hounds, Whippets, Borzoi and also the Scottish deerhound.
7. Disc Dog
Disc Dog started in the 1970's, and it is certainly one of the best sports to do with your dog. This sport challenges both the owner and the dog. You will have to be great at throwing, and your dog will have to be great at catching the flying disc. The competition is split into two games. One is called “toss and fetch” and the other is called “freestyle.”
With toss and fetch, you have just 60 seconds to throw as many discs as you can and often over long distances. Your points are calculated based upon how many discs your dog manages to catch.
In freestyle, you and your dog team up and work together, quite often with music, which enables you to have a choreographed routine that your dog knows. Again you will be judged on agility, style and of course how many times your dog caught the discs.
8. Earthdog Trials
Your dog is going to absolutely love earthdog trails. It involves him having to go through man-made tunnels that are underground.
This mimics the burrowing of foxes and other animals. When your dog gets underground he will have to find the scent of the prey. This is often a rat that is well protected in a box made of wood.
When your dog finds the prey, he'll need to “work” the prey. What this means is that your pet will bark or scratch at the box. This sport is perfect for dogs such as Cairn Terriers, West Highland Terriers, Jack Russells, Dachshunds and Border Terriers.
9. Obedience Trials
Obedience trials are a great choice that all dog breeds will love taking part in. Obedience trials are fun, and your dog will be mentally and physically challenged too.
As he gets better and better your dog will be learning how to master certain commands and could end up with a formal title, which could include Utility Dog or Companion Dog.
10. Field Trials
Field trials are all about your dog’s hunting skills. Categories are divided into three classes that include Pointers, Retrievers and Flushers.
If you have a sporting dog at home then he is going to love field trials, and they will keep him active and healthy.
This sport is the perfect choice for breeds that include Labradors, Springer Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Flat coated Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniels and Weimaraners.