An enthusiastic and fun-loving dog will keep you busy all the time. They will not let you have a boring moment in your life. However, you need to give them back the same love and energy so that they can stay healthy and active for the rest of their lives. How can you do that?
Some breeds are more active than others and both require a healthy balanced safe diet and regular physical and mental exercise. The good news is that there are many sports for dogs that can be mentally stimulating and improve their health.
Dog sports can help you reveal your hidden talents or improve your athletic skills. So if you are thinking of dog sports for your dog, you need to find a suitable sport that will work best for him.
Determining the right sport for your dog
Some sports are made specifically for certain breeds of dogs. In addition, choosing the right sport for your dog is not an easy task. For example, you cannot force your English bulldog to attend a bait coursing event.
Dog ancestors spent years solving problems, socializing, searching, protecting, and hunting. Thus, the dog breeds have natural instincts. Some other traits such as squirrel barking, unwavering loyalty, addiction to retrieval, behavior problems, and a love of water are inherited from the parent line.
So you need to understand both your dog’s natural tendencies and breed to find the right sport for them.
Popular events and sports for dogs
Below are the popular canine sports to try based on your dog’s activity level. These sports will also improve your pup’s health. Together with the explanation, you will learn which sport is best for which breed of dog.
Did you play frisbee with your friends? If so, then Flying Disc is just another name for Frisbee for dogs. The sport is both rewarding and challenging for the dog and its handler. The handler throws the disc and the dog runs to get it.
While it sounds simple, the game tests your dog’s freestyle, zoning, time, distance, and accuracy in competition. The events allow dogs and owners to spend time together and strengthen their bond.
You can also turn the park or even your garden into a playful place to play a flying disc.
Avoid Exercising for: Toy breeds that are not as active and tend to lose interest quickly.
Best for: Jumpers, high energy and involved dogs.
Agility is the best dog sport for both mixed breeds and purebred dogs. The training consists of instructing your pooch to overcome the hurdles in a given amount of time. Your dog needs to condition, focus and exercise. It also strengthens your bond with one another.
The hurdles or obstacles generally include teeter board, tire jump, tunnel, break table, dog walk, and loom. You can change the sport according to your dog’s size, age, and athletic ability.
You can also use some devices to make the game more interesting and challenging. Some dealers use tires and bars to get through obstacles without spending too much money.
Avoid Exercising for: The giant breeds of dogs are prone to joint or bone problems.
Best for: Toy breeds, loyal family dogs, escape artists. Mostly best for mixed breeds, both seniors and puppies.
Dog parks off the leash
If you want to put your dogs in contact with other dogs and people, dog parks are the best option. You can easily find many dog parks around you. Dogs under the age of two benefit from social learning and the expulsion of excess energy.
Still, you should always gather background information about your dog’s temperament and behavior with other dogs before letting go.
Avoid Exercise For: Frightened and aggressive dogs, female dogs in heat or intact males, and puppies or dogs prone to injury.
Best for: Mixed breeds, young to medium-sized, well behaved and friendly dogs. Even dogs that lack social skills.
Jogging and running
If your dog has excessive energy and comes out as soon as he hears the sound of a leash, you may have a great jogging or running partner at home. Jogging is a great exercise for both the owner and their pup. Medium and small dogs are great runners.
Some short-legged dogs will take more steps, so shorter and slow jogs will work for them. If your dog is an avid runner, you can start with a jog and eventually lead to a run.
Avoid Exercise For: Unsocialized and aggressive dogs, aging seniors and puppies.
Best for: Obese, medium, and large breeds of dogs. It’s ideal for dogs with short attention spans and high-energy adult dogs.
Dogs, of course, love to dig the ground or sit under a fallen tree. The Earthdog Trails is all about getting your little dog to train their ability to find the bait.
Small dogs go through the underground cave to find the rat. However, be mindful of your dog’s safety as this is a top priority.
The sport isn’t very competitive, but your pooch can’t get out of the cave until after finding the bait.
Avoid Exercise For: Large breed dogs.
Best for: Full breeds, dachshunds and terriers including Yorkshire, West Highland, Skye, Jack Russel, Cairn and Australian.
As a water sport, dock diving requires dogs to jump high in height or far in the distance. The dog must aim at the toy and then land directly in the water. This sport is ideal for dogs who like to be in the water.
Avoid Exercise For: Some giant breeds and puppies under six months old.
Best for: Most mixed race and purebreds love the water and are great collectors.
Dogs are born with natural herding instincts. At herding events, your puppy must have access to livestock and use his or her herding instinct. So if you have sheep or cows, you can gather cattle and let the dog take the lead.
Avoid Exercise For: Terrier and young puppies.
Best for: Working and guardian breeds such as border collies, German shepherds, cattle dogs, corgis, and shepherds.
Exercise for dogs can be anything that matches their natural instincts. In addition, every sport is aimed at improving your dog’s health and encouraging them to lead an active life. You need to consider your dog’s interests and breed before choosing the sport that is best for him.
If you can satisfy the dog’s body and mind, they won’t look anywhere else to satisfy their mental and physical urges.