Dog Sports Leagues? Sign Me Up!

by Jamie Bozzi And Lori Carman VSPDT

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Organized dog sports (with a certified professional dog trainer) are a safe and structured way to participate in fun activities with your dog.

Did you know?

There are A LOT of different types of dog sports—such variety! Here are just a few:

  • Rally Obedience (dog and handler teams follow a pre-determined course)
  • Agility (dogs maneuver through an obstacle course with their handler)
  • Scent Work (dogs find target odors in containers, vehicles, buried, interiors, and exteriors)
  • Treibball (AKA urban herding, dogs herd exercise balls instead of sheep)
  • Flyball (dogs race over jumps, catch a ball, and then return to handler)
  • Barn Hunt (dogs hunt for a contained rat in bales of hay)
  • Lure Coursing (simulating the hunt, dogs chase a simulated bunny around a course)
  • Dock Diving (dogs jumping into large pools with a running ramp and jump distance is measured)
  • Freestyle (AKA Dancing With Your Dog, tricks set to music)
  • Tricks

Check out www.akc.org for more information.

DOCK DIVING

Alternative to Dog Parks

Not all dogs are dog park candidates. Public dog parks lack proper supervision of canine play. Many pet owners do not understand the complexity of dog body language and are unable to observe red flag behavior. Organized dog sports offer a safe and fun alternative.

AGILITY

My Dog Can Do That

Many dogs are well behaved at home, but may struggle with focus and concentration outside the home. Dog sports and other structured fun activities can help your dog improve self-control and impulse control. Dogs don’t generalize well, but dog sports help dogs learn what TO DO when they don’t know what to do—to help them focus on the handler and/or the task at hand. Through learning new skills, dogs are better able to cope with new situations and new environments.

Benefits of Dog Sports

Some of the many benefits of enrolling your dog in a sports league are—

  • Builds confidence
  • Teaches body awareness
  • Enhances environmental resilience
  • Improves the human-canine bond
  • Challenges you and your dog
  • Teaches your dog something new
  • You and your dog get to have fun together

How to Get Started

As you begin to get into a sport with your dog, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Find a qualified professional instructor
  • Build a solid foundation
  • Work in small incremental steps
  • Be safe and, most importantly, have fun!

In November, Dream Dogs in Bermuda Dunes will be hosting an open house, Dog Sport Day, to introduce pet owners to a variety of fun dog sports and other activities that they can learn to do with their dog. For more information, contact Dream Dogs at (760) 899-7272.

Lori Wainio-Carman, VSPDT, professional dog trainer and owner of Dream Dogs, has been successfully training for more than 20 years. 760-899-7272dreamdogs.comPositively.com

HOT CAR REMINDER

Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet, when left in a parked car, at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference. The chart shows how quickly the temperature can rise in a parked vehicle.

ESTIMATED VEHICLE INTERIOR AIR TEMPERATURE V. ELAPSED TIME

Courtesy Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University

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