Actually, yes they do! I did a post about working dogs in December of 2018. Here’s the link: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/working-dogs.
Jo, an editor from Jen Reviews, liked it and asked if I’d add a link to her article on sporting dogs. I did! I also wrote that I wanted to do a post about them, and now I’m finally doing it.Here’s Jo’s link: https://yourdogadvisor.com/dog-sports/
There are seven sports, just for dogs, up first is one of the best-known sports, agility. A picture is worth a thousand words so let's start with a few!
1. Agility - look closely. Do you see the word agile? It means that you move with quick, easy grace. When I look at the dogs and their people, I definitely see agility!
These photographs all come from agility courses, but they look more like obstacle tracks to me. Which path would you take – a regular race, or an agility course?
If you picked agility and have a dog, try this! Start with a few easy obstacles. Be patient. Go slow, and treat your dog and yourself along the way. BTW, the best treat of all – you’ll both get fit.
If you don’t have a dog, I’d find a dog-owning friend and offer to help them with the obstacles.
2. Flyball – I had never heard of it before, but it’s the dog world’s version of the fast and the furious. Look at the pictures first. Then I’ll tell you what I discovered about it.
Think of Flyball as a doggy relay race, fetch style. There are 2 teams of dogs. Each one has a lane with 4 evenly spaced jumps. The smallest dog determines the height of the jumps.
At the other end of the course is a box. When the dog jumps on the box, it releases a ball. The dog catches it and races back through the 4 jumps to its owner.
Pictures still the action into a freeze-frame. If you really want to understand flyball, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIFLlEGhNu0
Flyball is too fast and furious for me, but if you liked the video, test it out with your dog. If you both like this version of fetch, google ‘flyball equipment for dogs.’ Here’s one I found with both DIY and purchase links. http://flyballequip.com
3. Nosework – or Scentwork. I hadn’t heard of this one either, but it’s exactly what you think it is. A dog is given a scent to find, and off they go to ‘sniff’ it out.
Nosework started as a sport in 2006 so it’s relatively new. Dogs learn to find specific scents. In competitions clove, birch, and anise oil are usually selected, sealed in a tub, then put in a secret spot in a room or garden. The winning dog finds and tells their human first.
I couldn’t find a ‘nosework’ photo, but these give you the idea. It’s a great sport for all dogs, from puppies to seniors. All you need is something scented, and lots of patience. Don’t forget positive reinforcement with treats, toys, and lots of praise.
4. Obedience Trials – I’ve heard of this one! There are 5 basic commands every dog should know, and they’re the foundation for obedience trials.
Obedience trials have 3 basic levels: novice, intermediate, and advanced. The American Kennel Club does too, but they use slightly different names, and they have A and B levels. I think that means they really have 5 or 6.
Your dogs will determine how many exercises you have to do, as few as 5. Sometimes on the day of the trial you find out which random exercises you have to perform. My source below listed 14 exercises that include heel, sit, down, recall, and retrieve.
If you’d like something a little more relaxed, look up rally obedience. You get to take your dog around a course walking them in heel position, and you can give them verbal cues. If I had a dog, I might try this out.
5. Heelwork to Music & Canine Freestyle – I’ve heard of the heel command, and I have pictures below, on and off leash, but I’ve never heard of heelwork to music or as a doggy freestyle event. That sounds like something you’d see at the Olympics for ice skating or gymnastics. I’d love to try it, if I only had a dog 😊
If you’d like to see how beautiful this heelwork can be, click on this link:
This is how my dog danced, but canine freestyle is so much more! It's amazing!
If I had a dog, I’d also have to make sure I didn’t trip over the dog or my own feet, no LOL!
6. Canicross – I had no idea what this was, did you? I’m glad I had a source to read. It said canicross was running across country with your dog, and the dog gets to lead. Mine would have loved it. I wouldn’t – I would have had trouble keeping up with her!
Canicross was invented in Europe because dog sled mushers needed something to keep their dogs in shape during the off-season. Instead of pulling the sled, they pull their human around.
7. Dock Diving – Now this I could figure out, easy peasy! Diving off a dock, right? Except of course there’s a little more to it than that. Like, why is there an arrow in the picture below?
Dock diving is a newer sport – it started in the late 1990’s. Here are just a few of the regulations: A dock must be 35-40 ft long, and 8 ft wide. You can use a pool, pond, or lake, as long as it is at least 4 ft deep.
I found 3 different competitions: 1. Big Air (the length of the jump), 2. Extreme Vertical (how high a dog can go), and 3. A Speed Retrieve (a dog swims out to retrieve an object). There are also different ways to measure distance. Some measure from the dock to the tip of the dog’s tail. Others go onto where the tail meets the body, and diving competitions end where the nose hits the water.
Oh, that red arrow, it uses digital frame technology. I guess there’s no need to argue with judges, but you could with the judges who manually measure the distance.
Dock diving looks like a lot of fun! It’s too bad when I had a dog, I didn’t have a dock. Now I have a dock and no dog. Maybe someday
Finally, thank you to Gemma Johnstone at Your Dog Advisor for such a great article. I enjoyed reading it and learning about sporting dogs. Another thanks to Jo at Jen Review for emailing me about this story. It’s great, and I enjoyed writing about it!
Article Source: https://yourdogadvisor.com/dog-sports/
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!