What Kinds of Competitions Can I Do With My Dog?

A lot of humans and animals have been bored during quarantine.  Sitting around the house all day is not good for humans or pets.  Competing with your canine sidekick is a great way to get out of the house and improve the bond between you two.  Most people are aware of dog shows like Westminster.  But that is not the only option for human and dog duos seeking to hone their competitive edge.  Come with us as Rover’s Recess explores the different kinds of competitions you can do with your furry friend.

 

Agility

Are you the type to get up two hours before work to go running with your dog?  If so, agility competitions may be for you.  These events are for the top athletes of the canine world.  This makes the sport ideal for breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds.   Dogs run an obstacle course with a variety of challenges including jumps, tunnels and raised platforms.  The whole way they take cues from their human handler.

 

Canine Freestyle

Maybe you have heard of this event by its more common moniker – Dog Dancing.  If you and your pup want to stay fit while showing off your artistic flair, this competition is for you.  Dogs and humans perform a choreographed dance to music.  The only rule is that your moves must be safe.  Any breed willing to put in the work can become the next champion.  Typical moves include twists and turns; weaving in and out of the handler’s legs; jumping in the air; and moving in sync with the handler.  If your pup has an inner artist crying to break free, this event is for you.

 

Conformation  

This is the proper name for the typical “dog show” like those produced by the American Kennel Club.  Purebred dogs are presented by their handlers and judged by the standards for the specific breed.  Then the best of each breed competes with the others to see who is “Best in Show”.  Judges are looking for specific characteristics like temperament, gait and physique.  The idea is to improve the health and well-being of the individual breeds by keeping dogs in top shape.

 

Disc Dogs

Does your dog go to sleep with a Frisbee in its mouth?  Then this is the event for you two.  This sport offers a few different options.  Dogs and humans can compete in distance, accuracy and freestyle disc events.  Both the handler and dog need to be in top shape.  The handler must throw the disc with accuracy and the dog must have the skill to catch it.  This requires a real bond between both members of the team.  Disc competitions are great for high-energy breeds.

 

Tracking

A dog’s nose is a powerful tool.  Their noses contain over 300 million olfactory receptors, according to an article published by PBS.  In this event, dogs use their powerful sense of smell to follow a scent trail left by a human.  It is a small-scale search and rescue simulation.  These competitions are often held outside and require great focus.  Breeds like German Shepherds and Bloodhounds have a natural talent in this event.

 

We encourage you to follow the most recent recommendations for COVID-19.  If you feel safe and want to get out with your pet, there are plenty of great opportunities to compete.  It’s a great way to bond with your dog and manage boredom.  If you do try out one of these events, please be sure to get plenty of photos and share them with us!  Also, please continue to follow our blog for more helpful pet tips.  We would love to help you with your pet-sitting needs.

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