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Sunday, 13 May 2012

My Favorite Dog Sports :)

These days, the choices in dog sports are recreation are nearly endless. Dog sports are great options to keep active dogs both physically and mentally healthy. All dogs needs some degree of exercise, but most will thrive with extra stimulation. Very active dogs are ideal candidates for high-performance sports like agility and flyball, though almost any healthy dog can enjoy participation.
Be sure your dog has a thorough veterinary evaluation prior to starting any dog sport. Once your vet gives clearance, consider these top dog sports that can challenge your dog's mind and body while reinforcing the canine-human bond.

1. Agility--Canine Agility is a competitive dog sport that takes place within an obstacle course. Dogs are trained to make jumps, travel through tunnels, and navigate various walkways- all in specific order. Each step of the way, the dogs are directed by their owners. Agility is an excellent form of exercise and mental stimulation, making it ideal for high energy dogs like Border Collies and Australian Shepherds. However, just about any dog can participate in agility. the intensity and difficulty of the course can be altered to accommodate dogs with health complications or special needs. Teamwork between dog and humans is the cornerstone of this sport.
 2. Canine Freestyle-- it is a choreographed musical performance by dog/handler team. Like it sounds, this activity is like dancing with a dog! As implied by it's name, in canine freestyle almost anything goes. Basically, any move is allowed unless it puts the dog or handler in danger. Routines typically involve the dog's performing twists and turns, weaving through the handler's legs, walking backwards, jumping, and moving in sync with the handler. Canine freestyle requires a deep bond between handler and dog as well as a mastery of basic commands- especially "heel". Before putting a routine together, the dog must first learn each individual "move". A dash of creativity, plenty of patience and a positive attitude will go a long way.

Let me share with you 3 of my favorite canine freestyle act.

1. Ashleigh and Pudsey, they are the grand winner of  Britain's Got Talent 2012

2. Kate and Gin, Finalist of Britain's Got Talent 2008?

3. Carrie the Merengue dancing Golden Retriever

3. Conformation-- is a competitive dog sport during which purebred dogs are presented in dog shows and judged for congruity with their respective breed standards. Conformation trials, or dog shows, are designed to display purebred dogs with ideal characteristics of their respective breeds as determined by a purebred dog association such as PCCI. ultimately, the goal is to maintain the highest standards of the dog breed so that future lines remain of the highest quality and inherited health issues are minimized. During conformation, show dogs are judged by knowledgeable and experienced purebred experts who assess the dog's physical characteristics, gait, and temperament.
 4. Disc Dogs-- During disc dog competitions, dog/handler teams are judged in disc throwing events like distance/accuracy catching and freestyle routines. To become a successful disc dog team, the handler must be able to properly throw a disc-and far. The dog can then be trained to chase and catch the disc.

5. Flyball-- The sport flyball is a type of relay race that involves teams of four dogs. one dog from each team runs down a course, jumping hurdles, towards the "flyball box". The dog steps on a panel and triggers the flyball box to release a tennis ball. The dog then brings the ball back over the hurdles to its handler. Once a dog has completed the course, the next dog is released from the starting line. The first team to have all for dogs complete the course wins. The game is played in several heats. Flyball is a great way for your dog to enjoy time with other dogs, plus a nice way for you to meet other dog owners.

After showing my dogs the list of possible sports that we might join in, I asked what is their favorite dog sport and this is the transcript of my conversation with them.

Me: Hi Guys, I am planning to enroll you to some dog agility class, so that you will also get to know a lot of doggie friends, so what sports would you like to enroll to?

Kenshin: Mom, I actually want to learn how to play the frisbee thing, though I would enjoy it more, if you will change the disc to this (showed me the video on YouTube)

Einstein: Mom, I think Flyball will be a fun adventure for me, specially if they changed the name to "Flytreats" like this one (showed me video on YouTube)

or better if they change the flyball box to a treat dispensing box, like this one.

Armani: Mom, I want to be the smartest dog on earth, just like Chaser, he knows more than 1000 words.

There are other dog sports available, but I have chosen my favorite ones. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog.

If you have any questions regarding my blog, please email me at akvicencio@gmail.com

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