Dog Sports and Competitions for Every Breed

Competitive sports aren't just for people; they're also for dogs. Training for and competing in athletic trials are a fun way for you and your dog to bond, stay healthy and earn championship status points. Keep reading to learn about some of the most popular competitive dog sports in North America today.

1. Frisbee Dog

The popular Frisbee dog sport relies on the skills of both human trainer and dog in the ring. Also known as disc dog, the sport consists of the human trainer and their dog tossing and catching a Frisbee in a choreographed routine designed to show off agility, catching skills and obedience training. The sport is open to any breed of dog, purebred or otherwise.

2. Agility

Agility competitions come in many different forms, but the basis is that the dog is required to run through an obstacle course while guided by its trainer. Using their voice and hand signals, the trainer runs alongside the dog and guides it through tunnels, ramps, slaloms and obstacles. Scores are based on time and full completion of the course.

3. Flyball

Flyball is a high-action dog sport that's as fun to watch as it is to play. Flyball can be performed solo, but is usually done as a team relay. The race begins with a whistle and each team has to race down the track, jump four hurdles and then launch a tennis ball from the Flyball Box using the dog's paws. Once the ball is released, the dog catches it and races back to the starting line. Again, any breed can participate.

4. Carting

Normally just for large breeds or working dogs, carting is a true strength and endurance trial. Each dog pulls a cart weighted down, usually with farm goods or lumber. The dogs are timed, and score is based on distance traveled and time.

5. Scootering

A fairly new sport, scootering, is like summertime dog sledding or mushing. One or more dogs will pull a scooter on which a human is riding. Like dog sledding, the human is pulled and the ability of the team also relies on the handler's ability to command and steer the dogs.

6. Sheepdog Trials

One of the most popular competitive dog sports in the world, Sheepdog trials are intensely competitive and absolutely amazing to watch. Normally reserved to herding breeds, the trials revolve around a dog's ability to follow his handler's direction and herd sheep through a series of obstacles and fences.

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