Dog sports are one of the best ways to have fun with your dog. They can not only help to give your dog the proper exercise and promote good health, they can also help to build a stronger bond between dog and owner as you work together to complete a course, win a game or meet an objective. All breeds can participate in sports, as can dogs of all ages. There truly is something for everyone in this amazing field.
The best part about engaging in sports with your dog is that it can be so very simple. Most dogs love to be active. They instinctively want to run and jump and expend energy. They also have a strong instinct to please their owners so they are usually eager to learn new commands and hear your praise when they do well. Of course some breeds, like the Australian Shepherd, are particularly adept at sports but really just about any breed can find its niche.
And there are a wide variety of dog sports to choose from, almost as many as there are breeds of dog. Some sports involve direct human and dog interaction, with the dog operating on command from its handler, while others are for the dogs only. Some are just engaged in for fun, while others involve highly regulated competitions with strict rules that often draw crowds of spectators or are even occasionally televised.
Some sports are tailored more to specific breeds, such as track racing and sled racing that don't generally attract Australian Shepherds. Track racing, which can draw large crowds and even involve betting, is usually reserved for Greyhounds and other breeds built for speed, while sled racing is the venue of Huskies and Malamutes who are used to spending long hours in frigid temperatures. Let's get back to sports that are better suited to Aussies...
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In the world of dog sports one of the most common is agility training. This can appeal to a wide range of breeds, but is particularly suited to Australian Shepherds, Border Collies and other breeds known for being command driven. These breeds also can be found competing in herding trials, showing off their innate skill at gathering and herding sheep, cows and other animals.
On the more recreational side of the spectrum are sports like dock jumping, disc dog, flyball, and treibball. These are sports that allow any type of dog to show off his natural athletic ability or just have a good time running around without as much worry about timing and accuracy. Dogs who love the water will be eager to jump as far as they can from a dock and what dog doesn't love chasing and catching a Frisbee?
Canine dressage is similar to the equine version, with dogs completing a variety of choreographed moves. There are also dog sports like lure coursing, tracking, and retrieving which are particularly geared toward hunting dogs who are used to stalking and landing their prey. Of course, you may just opt for hiking or jogging with your dog in order to get both of you a workout.
No matter what your interest or your dog's physical capabilities, there is almost certainly a sport that will suit your taste. Why not look into the possibilities and see if there isn't some way that you can get your best friend some activity and have some bonding moments at the same time? Any dog can be a sporting dog with the right motivation!