May 1, 2022
We love having dogs because they make great companions for our everyday lives. They make great hiking, swimming, and couch buddies, but did you know that there are sports you can compete in with them? Most people are familiar with the national dog show on Thanksgiving, but there are several other sports that you can do with your canine companion, even if he isn’t purebred! The American Kennel Club (AKC) allows everyone to register their dogs, purebred or not. Whether you have a golden retriever with high dollar bloodlines or a Heinz 57, you can still be involved. The Canine Partners program allows you to register your dog if they are of a mixed breed or a non-AKC registerable breed. Once you’re registered, you can take part in competitions and “title” your dog. This means once they pass certain tests or complete certain trials, they get a ribbon and certificate, and the AKC adds that title to the end of their names. For example, when your dog passes the Canine Good Citizen test, you would list “CGC” after his name. You can go for lots of titles, collecting “alphabet soup” at the end of your dog’s name, as people who title say.
So what kinds of things can you do with your pup? Well, one of the most common dog sports is agility, where your dog runs an obstacle course full of jumps, tunnels, and weave poles as fast as possible. For the water-loving dogs, there is dock diving, which is exactly what it sounds like. You throw a toy from the edge of a pool, and your dog jumps into the water after it. It’s judged by how far your dog goes before hitting the water. Then there is herding, which lets your shepherd’s instincts kick in and he is judged on how well he herds ducks, sheep, or cattle. If your dog prefers to follow his nose, barn hunt is an option. During this trial, your dog is set loose in a barn and must follow his nose to find the rats (safely kept in tubes) hidden around the building. That’s not even the end of the list! There is a sport for every dog. If you’re interested in finding out more about doing trials with your dog, contact us at (443) 926-4335 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.