Did you know there are a variety of dog sports that you and your canine companion can participate in? Different breeds may excel at different sports, but there is virtually a dog sport suitable for every breed out there! These include agility, flyball racing, disc dogs, dock jumping, lure coursing, heelwork to music, rally obedience, protection sports and herding.
Agility is perhaps one of the better known and more readily available of the dog sports. Many local clubs have facilities for agility training. Most kinds of breeds, small or large, can participate, and it provides great physical and mental stimulation to keep both their mind and body happy and healthy.
Agility is an enjoyable sport for both dogs and their human handlers, as dogs learn to navigate a course according to their handlers instructions, with obstacles such as different types of jumps, contact equipment such as the dog walk and seesaw, tunnels and weave poles. The jumps are set at different heights depending on the size of the dog and ranging from 20cm jumps up to 60cm.
Handlers and their dogs may just want to train for agility just for fun, however if they want to step it up a notch they can compete against other dog and handler teams in agility trials. Agility trials test both speed and accuracy. The aim is to achieve a perfectly clear round within the allowed time frame for the individual course – getting a placing of 1st, 2nd or 3rd is a bonus!
Photo credit: You might recognize Kody in this picture as he is one of Dr. Laura’s dogs. Laura and Kody have recently started competing and say that it is great fun! (Photo by Pawsnap pet photography).