Fun Activities That Any Dog Can Do
Various Trials and Competitions For Your Dog
By Kelly Marshall
There is a wide range of various events, competitions and trials that you may want to consider training your dog for. Many of these events, unlike show events, do not require the dog be purebred or even of a specific group; rather any dog that meets the basic requirements can enter.
Many of these events are sponsored locally; however, some are statewide, national or even international competitions. These are great events to get your dog involved in as it keeps them learning, socialized and active in a positive manner.
Some competitions to consider for you and your dog are:
Sporting Dog Competitions: These trials are set up depending on the type of dog and hunting style. There are competitions for flushing birds, pointing, setting and retrieving. Dogs compete against a standard as well as against the clock and even each other.
Herding Events: While usually these events are only attempted by herding breeds or herding breed crosses, any dog could potentially enter. The dogs are required to herd livestock, usually sheep or calves, from one area to the other with the assistance of the handler. Time as well as ability are graded by judges.
Obedience Competitions: Depending on the level of expertise you and your dog have achieved, these competitions can include basic commands on a leash on up to completely off the leash highly complex patterns and commands. These competitions are solely judged on the dog’s performance, not against each other.
Tracking Events: These events involve the dog following a pre-set trail or scent pattern. The handler cannot prompt the dog, and the patterns become increasingly more complex and challenging as the dog increases in experience. Some events include the dogs having to track through water and learning how to pick up the scent on the other side by searching the opposite bank. Points are given for successful completion, time and effectiveness on the scent.
Flydog Competitions: This is one of the most exciting and entertaining events; teams of dogs are racing against each other to run to a ramp, jump on a platform, grab the ball that is released, and run back to the start for the next dog to go. It is like a dog relay, with each team consisting of various breeds of dogs, from very small to giant breeds.
Frisbee Dogs: This is teamwork between the dog and the thrower. Each pair makes a series of throws and catches, with points being awarded for the dog that makes the most spectacular catches based on its size, the conditions, and the distance of the throw.
Agility Training: This involves the dog being able to complete a pre-set pattern of jumps, contact obstacles that the dog must touch, as well as a seesaw the dog must walk across, among other things. The dog must be obedient and listen to the trainer as well as complete the course with the least number of faults.
If you are planning to get involved in one of the various types of competitions, spend some time going to the events and talking to the fans, owners, and handlers to decide if it is the right competition for you and your dog.