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Which Dog Sport Is Right For Your Pup?

by Dennis ODonnell on April 29, 2020

Are you ready to get fit, have fun, and bond with your dog: join a dog sport! There are tons of options available depending on your dog’s interests, instincts, energy level and motivations, but here are three of the most popular…and what kind of dog they’re right for.

Agility

Perfect for: athletic dogs with big drive.

The handler leads the dog through a series of obstacles—jumps, weaves, tunnels, and more—in a race for successful completion in the fastest time. Agility combines the mental enrichment of learning new behaviors and following cues with intense physical activity.

Fly Ball

Perfect for: dogs who are laser-focused even around other dogs.

Is your dog obsessed with chasing a ball? Fly Ball might be your sport. Teams of dogs relay-race down a straight course with jumps, snag a ball launched out of a box, then run back with the ball. The fastest team to complete the relay wins.

Rally-O

Perfect for: dogs with less physical intensity but who benefit from mentally stimulating activity.

Less physically rigorous than other dog sports, Rally-O combines obedience cues in an obstacle-course-like environment. Dog and person work together to perform specific behaviors in places around the course.

Looking for something else? Water-loving dogs, check out dock diving. For athletic dogs who want more freedom than agility, find a Disc Dog club. If you love a hound who might not love intense exercise, find a nose work organization near you.

Each of these sports offers dogs a way to bond with their person, learn new skills, grow confidence and work their brains and bodies. Sports are an incredibly effective way to create excitement in your dog’s life!

Local clubs and training facilities host open events for these—and more!—so you can go watch a few matches and see which one’s right for you and your pup.

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