Participation in dog sports is a wonderful way to get active and connected with your dog. While many require agreeable weather, other dog sports and activities can be enjoyed indoors. Agility is one of several dog sports can be done indoors or outdoors. These days, the choices in dog sports and recreation are nearly endless. Dog sports are great options to keep active dogs both physically and mentally healthy.
Be sure your dog has a thorough veterinary evaluation prior to starting any dog sport. Once your vet gives clearance. Canine agility is a competitive dog sport that takes place within an obstacle course. Dogs are trained to make jumps, travel through tunnels, and navigate various walkways – all in a specific order. Agility is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, making it ideal for high energy dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. The intensity and difficulty of the course can be altered to accommodate dogs with health complications or special needs. Conformation is a competitive dog sport during which purebred dogs are presented in dog shows and judged for congruity with their respective breed standards. During conformation, show dogs are judged by knowledgeable and experienced purebred experts who assess the dogs’ physical characteristics, gait, and temperament. Canine Freestyle requires a deep bond between handler and dog as well as a mastery of basic commands – especially “heel.” Before putting a routine together, the dog must first learn each individual “move.” A dash of creativity, plenty of patience and a positive attitude will go a long way. Routines typically involve the dog performing twists & turns, weaving through the handler’s legs, walking backwards, jumping, and moving in sync with the handler. During disc dog competitions, dog/handler teams are judged in disc-throwing events like distance/accuracy catching and freestyle routines. To become a successful disc dog team, the handler must be able to properly throw a disc – and far. The dog can then be trained to chase and catch the disc. During distance competition, the field is broken into zones by yard. Rally Obedience rules tend to be less strict than traditional obedience competitions. Typically, Rally competition is open to all breeds. In Rally Obedience, dog/handler teams must complete a course made up of signs describing specific obedience exercises to perform. Judges design the course and observe as the teams swiftly navigate the course. A tracking trial is a type of test that requires a dog to follow a scent trail. These events mimic search-and-rescue missions, assessing the dog’s natural ability and willingness to follow a trail left by human footsteps. Lure coursing is a fast-paced chase sport that was developed as an alternative to hare coursing. Rather than chasing a live animal, dogs chase an artificial lure across a field, compete for best time. In distance jumping, or “Ultimate Air,” the handler throws a toy off of the dock in an attempt to get the dog to jump as far away as possible. Also called dock diving, dock jumping is a competition where dogs jump from a dock into a body of water in an attempt to achieve great distance or height. During disc dog competitions, dog/handler teams are judged in disc-throwing events like distance/accuracy catching and freestyle routines. The dog can then be trained to chase and catch the disc. During distance competition, the field is broken into zones by yard.
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