Dog Sports Your Dog Will Love

Dog Sports Your Dog Will Love

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 24.11.2021

Sports for Dogs

A major plus of owning a furry friend is enjoying quality time together. If you’re looking for a new or fun activity to do together, try dog sports! There’s truly quite like the bonding and excitement that comes with this type of canine training. 

Dog sports may provide a plethora of benefits to your pup including obedience training, improving their overall agility, providing mental stimulation, and that’s only the beginning. 

When your four-legged friend is involved in some sort of dog sport, they may have a new found energy boost or pip in their step. You may find them glued to the dog event shows while you’re even making dinner. Maybe they’re dreaming of their turn up on the big screen next?



How to Start Your Dog in Sports

Dog sports are a great way to teach your puppers new skills. Since you and your pup need strong teamwork skills for this type of activity, you both deserve all the credit! Canine training requires dedication and continued persistence from you and your furry friend. 

First things first, competition is not equal among all events in dog sports. You should be abl eto find an area that fits perfectly with what your pup can participate in, no matter what their current or soon-to-be skill level may be. 

Head to the internet and look into obedience training and competitions as well as other dog sporting events that may be nearby. What are the entry requirements? Is owner handling involved?

If you’re wanting more information that what the internet can provide, try and find a local dog sporting event near you to see first-hand 'what’s the 411?'. It may also be a solid idea to join your local brand of the American Kennel Club (AKC). This club can offer resources, group class information, and a wide array of different dog sports and events. 

This is where you’ll most likely find out just when and how your doggo can compete in specific dog sports. You may even be able to connect with other doggos and their owners through the website. Something to quickly note though, your pet must be an AKC registered dog prior to taking part in an AKC competition. 



Once you’ve picked a dog sporting event you want to try, start off low and slow with fido. DOn’t get too frustrated if they aren’t catching on quickly or if they aren’t really interested in the first place. 

Not all doggos take a loving to the same dog sports - some may prefer one activity or skill over another. Trial and error may be your best friend in this case. 

How Do I Train my Dog?

When you’re teaching your doggo new tricks, or in this case, a new sport, it’s crucial that you continue to use positive reinforcement at all times. This is a key training method that is employed by dog trainers who have made a fruitful career in dog sports. 

When all is said and done, your pup only wants to please you, every time. They get so happy when you encourage them and praise them, maybe even reward them with yummy treats too. You dog may feel nervous about making mistakes and may be discouraged or scared to try something new again, cheer them on! 

Praise and practice will win! Whether your pup is entering an informal competition or a more formal event that requires a certain entering standard, keep in mind that you’re both there for a bonding and enjoyable experience. This is a time for you and fido to relax and have fun!

What Sport is Best for Your Dog?

Here’s where the juicy goodness comes to play! What sports or activities does your pup already love to do? Do they love to play fetch? Run fast? Swim? Maybe they are the first to sprint around the dog park as fast as they can get off that leash. 

Knowing what your pup already likes and enjoys can help guide you towards a dog sport that they may enjoy and perform well at. 

In today’s day and age, there are so many trials and events available to canines. More and more innovative dog sports are being offered yearly. Here are some dog sports that may benefit you and your pup! Check out the deets below. 



1. Water Sports

Does your pup love water? Jumps right in every chance they can get? If yes is your answer, your pup may do well in a sport called dock diving or splash dogs. Each dog gets a running start along a water dock while their owner pitches an object out into the water for the doggo to get. 

The purpose of this sport is to see which dog can jump the farthest off the dock. The owners should attempt to throw the ball as far as possible here. If your dog is an English Setter or Irish Steer, for example, their breed may be very well suited for this type of sport. 

2. Obedience Sports

One of the most traditional and oldest sports around: obedience training. The AKC hosts numerous obedience events every year. Although the rules are changing as time continues, the core of the sport comes down to your dog’s ability to follow commands. 

For instance, your dog is judged on how quickly they can respond to a task when they are asked to sit, jump, go, heel, or perform certain tasks. A dog who can respond right away with laser focus may do really well here. 

3. Tracking Sports

Nose tracking sports are totally a thing. These competitions may require dogs to follow a certain scent trail, where items are scented and left to be found. This test aims for each dog handler and dog to get to the end of the trail with each item present. 

As dogs become better and better at this event, the routes can become longer and more difficult with more turns and items to uncover. Nose games can help build your dog’s ability to smell out secret items and help them in trusting their instincts.

4. Trick Sports

This canine sport is great for doggos who are adequately trained in obedience training and are ready to learn a new challenge. Trick dog contests can provide awesome mental stimulation for fido too. 

There are so many options here! Teaching your pup to shake, sit, roll over, lay down - the opportunities are endless. Trick dog contests have numerous levels of difficulty. You can start fido out at the lowest of levels and work your way up to turn some Trick Dog titles. Cool, right?



5. Freestyle Sports

In dog freestyle sports, your dog’s obedience is judged a to how and when they respond to their handler’s commands. This can sometimes look like a musical performance! In a nutshell, your dog performs a plethora of obedience tricks to music with their handler by their side. 

Beyond just the obedience moves, dogs can also dance and sing. 

6. Agility Training

You’ve more than most likely seen dog agility competitions on TV once or twice. They’re very popular and entertaining if I do say so myself! Dogs move through an obstacle course with as much speed and flexibility as possible. 

A typical agility course includes tunnels, weave poles, jumps, and other obstacles that dogs have to maneuver through or around, jump over or under, or walk on through without making any to no errors. 

The dog who reaches the end of the course fastest with minimal to no errors wins. Agility training requires a lot from your pet physically and a lot of you too, potentially. Your pup may need to get into really good shape to perform well here. In addition, your dog must be able to follow directions well from its handler/owner. 

7. Frisbee

A disc competition focuses on your dog’s ability to catch a disc in their mouth mid-air. The handler throws a disc or frisbee well into the air and the doggo receives it: simple. A high degree of athleticism is required for this event, especially if you want your doggo to win and jump high!

There may be some variation to this sport where your dog’s handler engages in some showmanship with your dog. They may have your dog perform freestyle moves or jump over objects to wow the judges. This can be a very entertaining thing to watch!

Dog Sports: Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you only want the absolute best for your four-legged companion. If you feel the time is right, dog sports maybe your pup’s next favorite activity!

Apart from the physical and mental stimulation they may receive from trying a new sport or type of training, dog sports can help boost their confidence! Dog sports may even bring you and your pup closer together too. 

The AKC has classes, resources, and information for you and your pup! Doesn’t hurt to browse on through! 


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