If you thought your partner was the biggest sports fan in the house, think again.
Dogs love sports and anything that gets them running around. While all dogs love to be stimulated with activity, different breeds have different levels of athleticism, and finding the right sport for them can take time.
Playing sports with your dog is also a great bonding experience. So, to get you started, we’re sharing a few sports to try.
Some dogs may struggle with more intense activities, so find a vets in Madison to check for underlying joints or breathing issues before trying anything too strenuous.
If you have a herding dog, like a border collie, sheepdog trials are a great sport to try. Have your pooch herd a small flock of sheep, chickens, or even balls around an obstacle course and into a designated place like a pen or a box.
For a more advanced activity – which is great for both mental and physical stimulation – you could even have your dog separate the herding items into smaller groups.
Hurdles, tunnels, and weave poles all make for a stimulating exercise session for your furry friend. They’ll love following you through different obstacles and – of course – reaping the rewards (treats) at the end.
Agility courses are a challenging sport for both dogs and owners, and you’ll be required to use hand signals or voice to help them navigate through the obstacles.
Courses are suited to most dog breeds and can be taken at a pace that suits them – though the faster, the better (especially if you’re looking to enroll them in competitions).
Competitive dock diving
If you want to nurture your dog’s competitive side, dock diving could be a great option. In this activity, your dog will be competing against other dogs to see who can jump the furthest. It’s been gaining popularity in recent years, and is even sometimes televised.
Most dogs are suited to going for a dip, but Labradors and golden retrievers are most common for this sport (though a Pomeranian competing against a lab seems a little rigged…)
Disc dog can be done for fun or in competition. There are two categories for this sport; freestyle or timed. The timed version aims to have your dog catch the frisbee as many times as possible over different distances.
For freestyle, you have the chance to show your skills off and create some kind of choreography with the disc, you, and your dog. You can even put the routine to music for some extra flair.
If you don’t want to compete, playing with a frisbee in the park and seeing how often they catch it is just as fun.
Several other sports such as lure coursing, terrier trials, and field trials are suited to different kinds of breeds. Whatever takes your fancy, remember that it needs to suit your dog just as much. You can’t just play a sport that you like – you’re not the one having to put in the work! If you’re planning on heading to the park for a few sessions, don’t forget to pack plenty of water for your pooch so they can stay healthy and hydrated.