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Ready, Set, Play! Five FAQs about Dog Sports



Most of us love to play games with our dogs – fetch, ‘find the treat’, and hide and seek can be phenomenally fun things to do together. What about getting involved in a sport or activity with your furry friend, however? If your dog could speak, they’d probably be delighted to spend more time with you while being able to fully use the instincts and abilities they inherited from their canine ancestors. Dog sports are a fantastic way to keep your pup physically fit, but they also keep boredom at bay and can really help to enhance the bond that you share too.

What if I don’t have a ‘sporty’ dog like a Border Collie?

The great thing about dog sports is that there’s something for every breed and size of dog! Canine agility, flyball, and Rally obedience are all activities that allow dogs from Chihuahua size and up to participate. Your busy Labrador might enjoy the thrill of Dock Dog or water retrieving sports, while a Terrier who loves to dig could excel at earth dog trials. For those dogs and owners who don’t take themselves too seriously, there’s also more laid back activities like Treiball – a newer dog sport where mutts of all kinds move giant blow-up balls around a field.

How do I figure out what my dog likes?

Well, taking your dog’s breed, age, and energy level into consideration is an ideal first step – many dogs are going to enjoy and excel in sports or activities that they were originally bred to do, of course! Our intelligent canine companions are often able to apply their energy, endurance, and problem solving skills to a variety of different occupations, though, so try not to let that limit your choices. Check out some different dog sport events around your area, and imagine your dog in the participants’ paws. Don’t forget that you should enjoy yourself as well, however!

Where do I sign up?

Your local, state or national kennel club, or a trusted dog training facility are all good places to start your dog sport journey; many run beginner classes for obedience, rally, flyball or agility, which teach you the basics of the sport and how to work together with your dog to make it fun! For sports geared to specific breeds or breed categories, most breed clubs will post event information in newsletters or online.
What if I don’t want to compete? We just want to have fun! No problem! Becoming involved in dog sports with your pooch doesn’t always have to be about winning ribbons. Many venues have non-competitive events, social ‘fun-runs’, or skills and foundation workshops that simply focus on improving how you communicate and work together with your pooch.

Is it expensive?

It doesn’t have to be! The amount of money that you spend to play with your dog is always up to you, of course; while fees for high-level competitive events can be pricey, most dog sports are fairly cost-efficient to participate in at the lower levels, unless you choose to buy your own equipment or travel long distances, for instance. YouTube can be a great resource for training videos, many people make their own equipment, and there are numerous activities don’t require anything more than your dog and you to participate in.

Photo Source: petliferadio.com

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