September 11, 2015 | Posted in Sports Celebrities Teams & Pups

Dog-Sports-275PXThink sports are only for humans? Think again!

Lots of dogs participate in sporting events designed to test their agility, burn excess energy and give both dogs and owners a little extra something to bond over and look forward to. After all, just like kids, pets gain confidence and feel good about mastering new sets of skills.

And, just like with kids, there doesn’t have to be emphasis placed on competition. Some dogs like to pull weights or sleds. Others like to jump over hurdles and navigate tunnels. Still others like to herd cattle, play Frisbee or fetch wildlife. And there are lots more dog sports than that!

The ASPCA identifies a few dog sport categories: Agility, Disc Dog, Flyball, Freestyle and Rally- O. We’ve summed them up here and offer one related resource. But, don’t stop there! Find a nearby dog/owner Meetup group, ask your vet for more info or search “dog sports” online.

AGILITY

Agility sports are ones in which your dog races against a clock, competing in an obstacle course with guidance from you—a challenge for both of you! It’s suited to nearly any breed of dog and can be competitive or non-competitive. The main requirements for you and your pooch are energy, focus and dedication.

N. American Dog Agility Council or NADAC.com

DISC DOG

Think of a Frisbee toss. Now take it a step further. You throw a disc and work with your dog to achieve distance catching milestones. You also develop trickier, freestyle catches that make people say: Did you see that dog?! If your pup likes discs, this may be your sport, especially if you have access to an open, level practice space. IDDHA.com

FLYBALL

Flyball is “a relay race for pups” in which your dog works as a team member to race over jumps, trigger a ball release, retrieve that ball and race back so the next dog can do the same. Energetic dogs are a natural fit for this sport, especially if they crave discipline. The flyball community is said to be social and fun loving. Flyball.org

FREESTYLE

What if we told you some people dance with their dogs? For sport? And have fun doing it? We know you probably do this behind closed doors anyway. We certainly do! Freestyle activities take work, creativity and dedication on your part and your dog’s. Put on your dancing shoes, get out there and try it. You just might like it! Canine-Freestyle.org

RALLY-O (Rally Obedience)

The ASPCA says Rally-O is “like a driver’s test for you and your dog” except more enjoyable. In a heel position, the two of you navigate a course and stop at points where you’re asked to carry out tasks or commands. This is a neat entry-level sport for all dogs and helps reinforce obedience while infusing it with fun. APDT.com

Didn’t see a dog sport that interested you? Keep looking! Try these additional resources:

  •   ASPCA
  •   American Kennel Club
  •   Bring Fido and related websites
  •   American Herding Breed Association
  •   American Sighthound Field Association
  •   International Weight Pulling Association