Dog sports are a fantastic tool and can be an exciting way to spend more time with your dog. Dogs love to learn, and dog sports are a great way to harness dog’s natural curiosity and develop their minds. The process of learning new tricks gives dogs important mental and emotional stimuli and helps them live a full and active life. Mental stimulation decreases boredom and thus decreases the chance of a dog developing problematic attention seeking behaviors. Since most dog sports involve multi-step conceptual development of specific tasks, they provide a great opportunity for your dog to be engaged and fulfilled by the learning process.
This learning process inherent to the training of specialized skills can increase communication between you and your dog. Working with your dog toward a common goal, dog sports also allow you time to understand the way your dog learns, and helps your dog figure out how to communicate with you. Dog sports are all about breaking tasks into steps specific to the way your dog learns. In sports training, all behaviors are broken down into small commands your dog can understand and then put together as the training progresses. The puppy stage is a great place to start, as dog sports require training above and beyond regular obedience work. With our beginner and advanced programs, we can help your dog develop skills and behaviors that are fun for the whole family.
Skills learned in dog sports are also transferrable to other learning activities. Once you have learned how to teach your dog to do a fun task, it is easy to transfer that same learning process to less playful, but still essential behaviors. A dog who is used to the mental engagement of dog sports will be open to learning all sorts of behaviors, since dog sports are typically playful, positive experiences. Additionally, the process of learning new commands increases a dog’s focus and impulse control, keeping their attention on you and what you are trying to teach them.
With a broad range of dog sports—from well-known competition dog sports such a Dog Agility, Dock Diving, and IPO aka Schutzhund, to creative and fun ways to play with your pet such as freestyle dog dancing and disc dog—there is a dog sport fit for every dog family. Your dog can do any trick, the only limit is your imagination.
Some examples of dog sports:
- Dog Agility—teaches dogs to jump, climb, and weave through an obstacle course.
- Musical Freestyle dancing—teaches specific weaving, jumping, and turning patterns set to music.
- Dog Soccer—teaches dogs to push soccer balls with their nose.
- Dock Diving—teaches dogs to jump long distances into water for toys.
- IPO aka Schutzhund—“Protection dog” has three parts: tracking, obedience, and protection training.
- Disc Dog—teaches dogs to fetch and pass Frisbees.
- And so much more!
Call for your free consultation to see if dog sports are for you.