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  • Canine Sports | Combining Exercise and Mental Stimulation

    Canine Sports | Combining Exercise and Mental Stimulation

    Posted August 24, 2017 By in Educational With | 4 Comments

    Canine Sports are often attributed to competitive sports designed for hunting and herding breeds. But in actuality, it’s a broad term including a range of activities and competitiveness. There is a sport for practically every breed, personality and energy level.

    And while competition is often an option, many pet owners participate solely for fun and exercise.

    One of the biggest benefits of canine sports is that by combining both mental stimulation and exercise dogs are often more tired, and therefor more content, after practice. This is great for dogs who seem to have a boundless amount of energy. A second benefit is that canine sports are a great way to build an even stronger bond and trust with your pup. Who doesn’t want that?  And, on top of all of that, most canine sports require at least some obedience commands. Getting to work on those commands in a fun setting will almost certainly help with consistency! 

    So how do you know which canine sport is right for your dog?

    A good way to figure that out is to take an Intro to Canine Sports class, like our Clicker 101, with an experienced trainer that focuses on reward based training methods. These classes will let you and your pup try out a variety of sports before committing to a longer program. 

    Another way to decide on a sport is to take a good look at your dog’s personality. As a whole, some breeds do better with certain sports. For instance, herding dogs tend to love Treibball. But if your cattle dog doesn’t enjoy herding, but your Golden Retriever does, there isn’t any reason why your Golden Retriever shouldn’t take Treibball. He absolutely should! 

    Canine sports - dog agility

    Here is a list of popular canine sports to consider!

    Agility

    Agility is a canine sport in which a dog’s owner directs him through obstacles for both time and accuracy. The handler must use only voice, movement and body signals to guide the dog through the course. This is an awesome sport for energetic dogs who have a good obedience training base. 

    Canine Freestyle

    Canine Freestyle is an obedience based performance activity for dogs. It is a modern dog sport that mixes obedience training, tricks and dancing together for a fun, creative activity between a dog and his owner.  

    Flyball

    Flyball is a competitive canine sport that includes relay teams of dogs racing against each other, while jumping over hurdles and retrieving tennis balls.  It includes activities such as running, jumping, fetching, retrieving, as well as pleasing the dog’s owner. Flyball does not have any breed or size restrictions. 

    Nosework 

    Nosework is a canine sport in which a dog must locate a hidden target based on it’s specific odor, while ignoring distractions. Hunting dogs often love this sport, as will any dog that is motivated by smell. Nosework provides mental stimulation and builds confidence, all while providing an excellent workout. Click here to see about the Nosework classes offered at our Vine Street location

    Skijoring

    Skijoring is both a recreational and competitive sport in which a dog assists a cross-country skier by pulling them forward. Both the skier and dog wear a harness designed specifically for this sport. Dog’s with a desire to run down a trail and pull usually love this sport, however dogs under 40 lbs often provide very little assistance to the skier. 

    Treibball 

    Treibball is a positive reinforcement based competitive canine sport in which the dog must gather large exercise balls and “herd” them into a soccer goal. During this sport, the dog works closely with their handler, who is directing them using a whistle, verbal commands and body movements. It’s essentially sheep herding for dogs that do not have access to sheep.

    To read more about Noble Beast Dog Training’s Intro to Treibball class, click here

    canine sports - frisbee

    Mindy Jarvis
    Certified Dog Trainer & Behavior Consultant / Owner of Noble Beast Dog Training

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Comments (4)

Reply
Billy » 29. Aug, 2017

My dog Tiny…and I were talking… He said he would like to compete in a hot-dog eating contest… Feels he could even compete with humans…
He says all he needs is 1 chance…
I tried him out yesterday… He ate 6 Jumbo Ball Park (Turkey) Franks in less than 25 seconds… I told him I didn’t think a Hot Dog eating contest was a sport.
He says it is… I really need your help on this one… I think he will listen to the advice of a Certified Dog trainer…
I tried to convince him to take up Canine Freestyle… He says NO Way, dancing is for sissy’s … Please get back to me ASAP
Kind Regards > Billy

Reply
Mindy Jarvis » 29. Aug, 2017

Hey Billy,

Well first of all, what amazing vocabulary Tiny has with a knack for negotiating for sure – perhaps you have a future attorney there!

I hope that Tiny will be open to hearing that in my opinion, hot dog eating as such is definitely not a sport and could actually put him in an early grave! I get that he is drawn to it, but wow – 6 jumbo’s in one day probably added a bit of poundage to him, let alone if he made a sport of it! Here is a good article by Max Malikow with Syracuse.com to help support our argument – http://blog.syracuse.com/opinion/2013/07/6_reasons_why_competitive_hot.html

As far as freestyle, let Tiny know that he should not be too quick to judge the sport. Try it – super fun and if he did a bit of freestyle, perhaps you could have a couple hot dog eating contests with him!

Mindy Jarvis – Noble Beast Dog Training

Reply
Name (required) » 04. Sep, 2017

Dear Mindy,
You are a life saver… Yes, Tiny was very disappointed… I think your enclosed article on Hot Dog contests as a sport was his turning point…However, He has taken your recommendation and has been quick to move on…
We have been working together on a couple of free style combos that he seems to be good at. He is very and creative…..
Being a Mexican Chihuahua has helped to provide him with exceptional rhythm… He has lost over 10 pounds…
Our Plans are to join the circuit and go on the road in the spring…
Hot Dogs Have become an issue of the past…
Tiny I and will away remember the good sound professional advise you and Nobel Beast so graciously provided… We Love You… XOX

Billy & Tiny… We will keep you posted

Reply
Mindy Jarvis » 04. Sep, 2017

Wonderful news Billy! Super happy I could help! ;o)

Mindy Jarvis – NBDT