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11 sports to practice with your dog

There are many canine sports: agility, dog dancing or canicross. Overview of dog sports.

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Dogs need to exercise. And if the daily walks are not enough for your dog or if you simply want him to be able to rub shoulders with other dogs or learn while having fun, you can opt for a dog sport. There are many adapted sports disciplines that will delight your dog (and you). Disciplines that aren’t just good for your canine’s physical health but also for his well-being, for his education, for his relationship with you (his master), for his relationship with other dogs. Overview of dog sports.

Agility, a sport suitable for all dogs

Originating in England, agility is one of the most popular dog sports around the world. It is a sport of speed: the dogs must cross a series of obstacles (walls, tires, tunnel, swing, table, etc.), over a distance of one or two hundred meters. They are accompanied by their masters who guide them by voice or gesture, but who are not allowed to use rewards, leashes or clickers (props are not allowed). The goal for the dogs is to complete the course as quickly as possible, without dodging difficulties and without making mistakes.

  • Agility allows the dog and his master to exert themselves, it is a sport for canines and for humans
  • Agility strengthens the bond of obedience between dog and master
  • Agility is suitable for (almost) all dogs, regardless of size or breed, with adapted courses

Agility is an obstacle course / Credit: Unsplash

canine biathlon

Like agility, canine biathlon is an obstacle course, but over a (much) longer distance: between six and eleven kilometres. Dogs have to cross pools of water, pass over tree trunks or crawl through tunnels, following their masters who ride bikes and run.

  • The master spends as much as his dog with the canine biathlon
  • The canine biathlon is ideal for developing the bond between master and dog and for the education of young dogs.

While the dogs are running, the masters are mountain biking / Credit: Unsplash

The cani cross

Cani-cross is a long-distance race during which the master is connected to his dog by an elastic leash attached to his belt. The dog pulls its master, therefore, the rhythm of the race is given by the canine. Most of the time, the races are organized in nature, especially in the forest.

  • Cani-cross is ideal for sports masters

The course

Another kind of race, this time without the masters, coursing. The dogs are launched on a race track in pursuit of a dummy rabbit. This is a canine speed sport.

  • Coursing is a sport particularly suitable for greyhounds
  • Canine sport allows dogs to reach peak speeds that they cannot necessarily reach on walks (especially in town)
  • Coursing is easy for the master who does not run

The digility

The digility is a non-competitive version of the agility: no stopwatch, the dogs have all the time they need to reach the end of an obstacle course.

  • The digility is centered on the pleasure and the amusement of the dogs
  • The sport is suitable for older dogs, dogs with reduced mobility, and owners who don’t want/can’t run too much

Dock diving (or dock jumping)

Dock diving consists, for dogs, of jumping into the water from a diving board at a height of sixty centimeters. The goal: to start and jump as far as possible. To motivate the animal, the master throws a toy into the water.

  • Dock diving is an ideal sport for dogs who love water
  • Dogs with joint problems can practice dock diving
  • The sport can be practiced by dogs of all breeds, sizes and ages

The dock diving is ideal for dogs who love water / Credit: Unsplash

Frisbee dog (or disc dog)

As its name suggests, the Frisbee Dog is done with a frisbee. The dog and the handler are in team: the handler throws the Frisbee and the dog fetches it. Frisbee Dog competitions exist, the masters and their dogs then make artistic figures.

  • The Frisbee Dog is a sport particularly appreciated by playful dogs
  • The jumps performed by dogs to catch the Frisbee can damage the joints of canines, so dog sports are not recommended for very large or very heavy dogs.

The frisbee dog allows dogs to play and exercise / Credit: Unsplash

Flyball, a team game

Flyball is a canine sport that is played in teams. Two teams of six dogs and their six masters compete in a relay race. A first dog leaves, crosses several obstacles to a ball machine which he activates with his paw, catches the ball and returns to the starting line, the second dog then rushes in the same course, etc.

  • Flyball is an ideal canine sport for the sociability of dogs (and their masters)
  • The flyball is particularly recommended for training dogs or puppies

Flyball is a team sport / Credit: Unsplash

Mantrailing, a treasure hunt

Mantrailing is a canine sport which consists of dogs following a track by sniffing the traces left in the air or on the ground on a course.

  • Mantrailing is particularly recommended for training hunting dogs
  • Sport allows dogs to develop their sense of smell

Obedience, a sport to educate your dog

Obedience, as the name of this canine sport suggests, consists of working on the dog listening to its master, with simple orders such as “sit”, “heel” or “stop”, but also the dog must also bring back objects and obey his master, even from a distance.

  • The sport is ideal for the education of dogs and puppies
  • Some canine breeds are more obedient or more inclined to please their master, so they will appreciate obedience

The obérythmée (or dog dancing)

Like obedience, oberythmy is a sport based on listening to the master’s orders. And the goal is to create a choreography between the master and the dog by making the animal jump, turn, run to music.

  • Obérythmée choreographies are adaptable, so all dogs can participate regardless of size, weight, age
  • Easier with obedient dogs, oberhythmia can help with training
  • The masters also dance

No matter what canine sport you choose to practice with your dog, you can find canine clubs or canine schools in your area to allow your pet to exercise, learn and have fun.

Register your dog for a dog sport, he will be delighted / Credit: Unsplash

Sources:
Overview of all dog sports
dog sports

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