East Valley K9 Services


Fun Canine Sports

Fun Canine Sports

Fun Canine Sports: How to Get Started Today!

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An Afghan Dog Running on a Dirt Track

Did you know it’s never too late to get started in canine sports?  You CAN teach an old dog new tricks and have a lot FUN doing it together!

Keep reading to learn how to get started in fun canine sports today!

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Keep the Training Going!

After the puppy classes and advanced obedience classes, what’s next? Canine sports are a great way to continue dog training while also nurturing the bond between you and your dog! Participating in dog sports not only challenges you and your dog both mentally and physically but there are also many other great rewards including meeting new people and dogs!

So how do you get started in canine sports?

Have a senior dog? It’s never too late to get started in dog sports!

Malinois Dog Doing Agility

Which Sport is the Right Sport?

If you’re not sure what sport is right for you and your dog, attend some K9 sports events! Get a feel for the people and energy to decide if it’s right for you. Many dog parents participate in more than one K9 sport, so keep an open mind!

There are a variety of canine sports ready to welcome you and your furry best friend! Below are 7 of the most popular sports for dogs and their handlers.

  • word image 13264 3 fun canine sportsConformation. Measures how well an individual dog conforms to the breed’s standard. Mixed breeds and spayed or neutered dogs are ineligible to compete.
  • Agility. A growing dog sport in the USA with over 1 million entries in the AKC’s program each year!
  • Obedience. One of the AKC’s oldest sporting events for demonstrating your dog’s abilities!

Yellow Labrador Dog Doing Agility

  • Scent Work. Is your dog the Sherlock Holmes of scents? In this sport, the dog is the leader of the team by:
    • Finding the scent.
    • Communicating it to the handler who,
    • Alerts the judge.
  • Rally. Dog and handler move through a course of 10-20 skills defined by signs. Here, time is not the goal, it’s teamwork and skills that count.
  • word image 13264 4 fun canine sportsCoursing Ability Test (CAT) or Fast Cat. A great way to get started in dog sports without the high pressure of other K9 sports. Each dog chases a lure on a very safe course with the goal of finishing in less than 1-1/2 minutes (for the 300-yard course) and 2 minutes (for the 600-yard course).
  • Herding. The perfect sport for the working dog who is bred to herd! Teams must demonstrate the ability to move and control livestock within a fenced area in either tests or trials. (Or try treibball with urban herding dogs

Treibball Urban Herding by Global Dog Village

using large exercise balls instead of livestock!)

Learn about other Canine Sports on the AKC website.

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Woman and Dog Playing Frisbee

Which Sport is Your Dog’s Sport?

word image 13264 6 fun canine sports When choosing a dog sport to participate in, remember to consider your dog’s personality and physicality! It’s not all about you!

Consider their:

  • Breed.
  • Personality.
  • Confidence; and
  • Likes and dislikes.

While things like confidence can be taught and enhanced, likes and dislikes are often inherent. For example, if your dog has absolutely no interest in fetching balls, they are probably not going to enjoy coursing after a lure. Be honest with yourself and choose an activity your dog will love

Border Collie Puppy with a Soccer Ball

as much as you!

Or if you try a sport with little success, move on to another sport until you find the one that fits you and your dog. Set your dog up for success!

Once you have found the right sport, find a local organization or club that holds events near you. Make sure your dog meets all the requirements to participate and get started! Local organizations will be able to help you locate a trainer to start training too!

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Come Join Us!

Our Agility Fun & Games are beginning on Saturday, September 17th!  (This is NOT training for competition!)

Click here for more information and to register!

Serving All of the East Valley, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert Arizona




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