If you ever wonder if there is more to “dog-life” than lying around the house and going on the occasional walk in the park, this article is for you! If you are experiencing behavior problems with your dog, it may be because he is bored! Dogs love to play and learn. There are numerous fun for the whole family activities that you can engage in with your dog. This article is meant only as an introduction to some of these activities.
Agility: This is a sport in which your dog completes an obstacle course in response to your commands. Any dog can compete in this sport, as long as he is interested! Some of the obstacles include a seesaw, weave poles, jumps, and running through tunnels.
Flyball: This is a team sport in which 4 dogs compete in a relay race. Each dog must jump over four hurdles, catch a ball in his mouth, and then jump over the four hurdles again to return to the starting line with no mistakes. Two teams compete against one another, and the race is over when each dog has returned with a ball and no errors. Although there are numerous Border Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs who compete in the sport, all dogs are eligible.
Lure Coursing: Lure coursing is a humane event that recreates the chase of a rabbit by a sighthound. The lure is usually a plastic bag on a line that follows a preset course, and the dogs compete against each other in chasing the bag. Dogs are graded on speed, enthusiasm, agility in making turns, and other factors. This sport is only open to sighthounds, including greyhounds, whippets, Italian greyhounds, salukis, Rhodesian ridgebacks, Afghan hounds, borzoi, basenjis, Irish wolfhounds, Ibizan hounds, pharaoh hounds, and Scottish deerhounds.
Obedience Training and Trials: All dogs should have some level of obedience training. It will improve your relationship and also your dog’s behavior. Some people choose to participate in competitive obedience. In this activity, you train your dog through different levels of obedience to win titles at competitions. The first step is to obtain a Canine Good Citizen certificate from the AKC. This is an easy test that just shows that your dog is well-behaved and has good manners in public. Then there are numerous levels of obedience titles your dog can win, starting with Companion Dog (CD).
Pet Therapy: This is becoming a very popular activity. There are dogs who visit nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities. There are even dogs who help young children learn how to read by listening to them! Participating in pet therapy can be very rewarding; however, not all dogs are suited to become therapy dogs. A therapy dog must be social, polite, calm, and well-behaved. You will need to get your dog certified before you can become a pet-therapy team. There is lots of information available about every aspect of the therapy dog available on the internet.
This is just a listing of a few activities that are available for you and your dog. Any activity that you do with your dog will be a rewarding and fun experience for everyone involved. What are you waiting for?