Dog sports with your canine partner can be a very satisfying experience. This is an opportunity for your dog to be physically and mentally challenged and to establish a unique connection by taking small (or big) steps towards achievement. From an outsider's perspective, the competitive world of dog sports can seem daunting. Don't worry: there are many ways to start in a calm and relaxing environment.
All dogs welcome
Dogs of all sizes and breeds, including mixed breeds, can participate in dog sports. I have two mixed-breed dogs, and we participate in many dog sports.
It's not about a trophy
Participating in dog sports is a great way for you and your dog to build confidence, learn to trust each other, make new friends, and even exercise—and at the same time increase the bond between you. From the beginning of class, who knows? You may find yourself participating in organized competitions.
The local dog training club offers dog exercise courses at all levels from beginner to advanced. Another good option is the "Canine Sports Club", which has agility rings and courses and is integrated in doggy daycare or boarding facilities. Seek advice from your veterinarian, trainer, dog walker, groomer, or local pet store.
The right fit
Agility: If you have a bouncy dog that likes to jump, please sign up for the agility introductory course. Even if you are not going to participate in the competition, you will have a lot of fun to learn and bounce together.
Scent work: Dogs naturally like to smell and use their noses-after all, this is their most powerful sensation. Scent work does allow your dog to complete the tasks he likes to do, while also building confidence. This is also a great way for you to learn to read the dog's body language.
Skill training: I like skill training! This is my dog's favorite activity.
There are many online skills tutorials to help you get started. Yes, as in all sports, you can win titles and certificates hanging on the wall. I use skill training to help build confidence. At home, my dog performs a trick to eat dinner. During the treatment dog visit, their skills brought smiles to many people's faces.
Rally: If you don’t like tricks and you like obedience, then look at Rally. Rallying is based on obedience. Unlike regular obedience, which requires a judge to tell you what to do, in a rally you can move on a route with signs instructing you what to do. Think of it as an obstacle course of obedience behavior. You can practice rallying when you go for a walk on any day. Need some extra help? There are also special courses!