Dogs require constant mental stimulation and physical exercise to remain healthy and active. Though all dogs need exercise in some form or another, many will thrive with energy due to added physical stimulation. To be physically active, it’s vital that dogs have a safe nutritious and well-balanced diet to maintain strong bodies in order to play sports and stay active.
Activities such as Flyball and agility are great for highly energetic and enthusiastic dogs. However, all healthy dogs would enjoy participating in such activities.
You have numerous sports options to choose from for dogs. However, make sure your vet has examined your dog before starting any activity. This way, you can allow your dog to participate in physical activities actively without worrying about their health.
Popular Dog Sports
Below are popular sports for dogs that challenge their body and mind and reinforce the bond between you and your dog. So, let’s dive in and discuss the sports you and your dog would love to play together.
1. Canine Freestyle
Both the dog and its owner can enjoy a fun and musical activity. The owner can dance with his canine. As the name suggests, this musical activity can have many dance moves but keeping in mind the dog’s safety.
Typically, it includes syncing with its owner, jumping, walking backward, weaving through the legs of the owner, along with twists and turns.
The activity helps strengthen the trust and bond between the dog and its owner, along with mastering the heel command. To perform canine freestyle, all you need is a positive attitude, patience, and some creativity.
A competitive dog sport requires agility. Your pup will be required to pass through many obstacles such as navigating through walkways and traveling through tunnels in a specified order. Alongside the dog is its owners or handlers who will direct him through the pathway.
This activity is highly suitable for enthusiastic dogs such as Australian Shepherds, Schipperkes, and Border Collies. However, you can change the difficulty level of the course depending on the dog’s health and activity levels.
3. Disc Dogs
This sport is played in teams of a dog and its handler. The teams are judged by events such as freestyle routines, accuracy, and distance catching.
Disc throwing is similar to Frisbee. The handler throws the disc and makes sure to keep the direction and distance of the disc in control, much like keeping the ball in control in a game of soccer. In this case, the dog’s job is to catch the disc.
Dogs such as Presa Canarios, Australian Shepherd, and Border Collies are the most competitive in this game. When it comes to competition, the score and rules will change as per the organizing committee.
Another sport for dogs that fills them with competitive spirit is Conformation. In this sport, the purebred dogs are judged according to the standards of their respective breeds.
The criteria for judging are presented by the purebred association like United Kennel Club or American Kennel Club.
Conformation tries to meet the highest standards of a particular dog breed to maintain healthy and high-quality breed lines. The purebred experts assess the dog’s temperament, physical characteristics, health, and gait in the conformation trails.
Flyball is a kind of relay race. Each team will have four dogs. At first, one dog will run from each group to jump across the hurdles towards the panel to trigger and release the tennis ball from the flyball box.
After that, the dog will take the ball and bring it backcrossing all the hurdles to the handler. As soon as the dog completes the course, it is the next dog’s turn. Best of all, Flyball is an excellent sport that allows your dog to socialize with other dogs.
6. Dock Jumping
It is a jumping competition where a dog needs to jump over a large body of water and see the highest distance he has jumped. The sport is more like the high or long jump, which is best for dogs that enjoy being in the water, such as Labrador Retrievers.
In Ultimate Vertical, you need to place a bumper at a certain height for the dogs to reach. The judges will measure the maximum height the dogs can move the bumper.
On the other hand, in Ultimate Air, the dog will try to jump as far as possible to catch the toy that the handler will throw.
7. Lure Coursing
It is a chasing sport where the dogs will chase any artificial bait in an open field. The canine that is able to catch the bait in the least amount of time will win the race.
The sport was limited traditionally to sighthounds, including Rhosedian ridgebacks, Greyhounds, and Whippets.
Nonetheless, the sport allows your dog to enhance his chasing instincts humanely and safely.
8. Herding Trials
The Herding trials are done to judge the herding instincts of the dogs. Most dogs living in suburban or urban areas don’t have the opportunity for herding. Therefore, trails and training allow the dogs to bring out their herding instincts.
Dogs are known for their dominant sense of smell. They follow their noses to find their lost toy or even chase their prey. So, you can turn their natural talent into a challenging and fun sport.
In tracking trail, your dog is required to follow the scent trail. The activities will include the willingness and natural ability of the dog to follow the trail. The handlers and dogs usually enjoy tracking sessions and become real-life rescuers.
10. Rally Obedience
The rally obedience requires a team of both the owner and their dog to complete a particular course equipped with signs that teach obedience. The judges will design and observe how your team is able to complete the course.
In contrast to traditional obedience, the rules aren’t that strict. Moreover, all dog breeds can participate in this competition to win the champion titles.
Adventurous sports for dogs are a great way to create a healthy and active lifestyle for your furry friends. The high-energy activities will have a positive impact on your dog’s health. Moreover, it will strengthen the bond between you and your canine. What else? You can bring titles home.
Still, you should carefully choose the best activities for your pup, keeping in mind their activity level, skills, and breed. You should allow your dog to have fun without compromising on his safety.