Sports for Dogs

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Want to give your dog more than just a daily walk for exercise?  How about trying some of these competitive sports?  They not only help keep your pup active but they also enrich your relationship – and keep you going, too!

Be sure and check with your veterinarian first before starting any rigorous exercise or sports regimen.


In agility contests, dogs run, jump and weave their way around obstacle courses loaded with hurdles and tunnels.  Courses can start off very simple and, as your dog builds up stamina, you can add more obstacles along the way.


“Fetch” just got real.  Serious Disc Dogs don’t catch Frisbees for fun.  In competitions, the dog-handler teams are judged on distance, accuracy catching and freestyle routines.


This will require water, or at least, proximity to water.  Dock Jumping or Dock Diving requires learning how to jump high and far – the higher and farther, the better.  A new twist on this competition is the “Ultimate Vertical” which is a high jump for dogs where they have to jump as high as they can to reach a “bumper” set up several feet in the air.  See a video here:


Flyball is a relay race for teams of dogs.  Each team has 4 dogs and each dog takes a turn completing the obstacle course as quickly as possible.  The “flyball” refers to the part of the course where the dog needs to jump on a panel that releases a tennis ball.  The dog has to then fetch the ball and bring it back over the hurdles to his owner.


This activity works your dog’s chase instinct.  Instead of going after a live animal like a rabbit or fox, dogs chase an artificial lure across a field (sometimes set up with obstacles).  The dog with the quickest time wins.


This is an activity set to music.  In Canine Freestyle, your dog basically “dances” around with you.  Moves include: twists, turns, jumps, walking backwards, weaving through legs and really anything that keeps you and your dog moving to the rhythm of the music.  Teach your dog each “move” or trick and then put it together into one solid rockin’ routine!

YouTube Dock Diving Vertical:
American Kennel Club Lure Coursing:
Image Credit:

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