Dog Sports

They are born Runners, but when does a sport turn into something where the profit outweighs the care for the living creature!?
They are born Runners, but when does a sport turn into something where the profit outweighs the care for the living creature!? | Source
Sight Hounds were bred to hunt using their 'Sight'. A lure is placed on a pulley system and dragged across the ground. This is done both with Jack Russells (usually in a blocked in course) and Sight Hounds.
Sight Hounds were bred to hunt using their 'Sight'. A lure is placed on a pulley system and dragged across the ground. This is done both with Jack Russells (usually in a blocked in course) and Sight Hounds. | Source
Many Sight Hounds are raced for profit, but Wiener racing is, Thank God, still more of a sport/fun event than for profit!
Many Sight Hounds are raced for profit, but Wiener racing is, Thank God, still more of a sport/fun event than for profit! | Source
These dogs don't only work on command given over long distances by whistles and such, the often have to think/work on their own!
These dogs don't only work on command given over long distances by whistles and such, the often have to think/work on their own! | Source
This shows the dog's skills used for hunting such as retrieving and  pointing. In Earthdog Trials the Beagle/Dachshund and similar dogs will go underground to find animals.
This shows the dog's skills used for hunting such as retrieving and pointing. In Earthdog Trials the Beagle/Dachshund and similar dogs will go underground to find animals. | Source
This is cool to watch. The Frisbee can't touch the ground and the trick is to do all kinds of stunts!
This is cool to watch. The Frisbee can't touch the ground and the trick is to do all kinds of stunts! | Source
I used to do it with two German Shepherds and an old wooden children's sled. What a race it was!
I used to do it with two German Shepherds and an old wooden children's sled. What a race it was! | Source
Agility, a mix of obedience and the ability to overcome a variety of obstacles!
Agility, a mix of obedience and the ability to overcome a variety of obstacles! | Source
Especially Labradors love water and toys. The goal is to have the dog jump as far as possible into the water.
Especially Labradors love water and toys. The goal is to have the dog jump as far as possible into the water. | Source
This includes skills normally used in Police Work such as finding and apprehending a suspect!
This includes skills normally used in Police Work such as finding and apprehending a suspect! | Source

So much fun to chose from!

You don't have to be a Olympic athlete to be able to enjoy a sport with your dog, but it will require some amount of fitness and give you a good workout in the meantime.

When I thought about writing this hub, I figured I would end up with about five or ten sports that are available out there... WOW! UNDERSTATEMENT!

So I have to be a bit selective and only talk about those that are not as common.

Most people have seen dogs compete in Agility (Obstacle Course), Competition Obedience (I wish mine were so well behaved!), Disc Dog (Frisbee Stunts), Dock Jumping (Labrador Favorite: Jumping of the Dock after a toy!), Dog Hiking, Earth Trials, Field Trials (Hunting/Retrieving skills), Fly Ball (Collecting a ball on the other side of a obstacle course), Greyhound/Sight Hound racing, Herding, Mushing (Iditarod), Protective Sports (Schutzhund (based on Police Work, finding/apprehending suspects) etc.), Skijoring (dogs pull their owners on skis), Tracking, Weight Pulling (similar to tractor pulling) and Wiener Racing.

But there are so many others most of us haven't heard about:

Caniteering
is the sport of orienting yourself in the wilderness with your dog. It seems to be very popular in the U.K. Bike-Joring is similar to mushing. Dogs pull somebody on a (mountain) bike along trails. Joring is very popular in Sweden. It can be done on foot, on bike, behind horses and in the snow. Canicross is similar to Joring. It is done on foot and is simply a cross country race with dogs. This is great for hyper-active/active dogs and those that by breed need a lot of exercise, such as Huskies, Malamutes, Sight-Hounds, Pitbulls, Retrievers and such.
Carting goes back to when dogs were used to pull carts to help their owners transport stuff. It is also known as 'Dryland Mushing' and usually includes large breed dogs such as the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Bouvier des Flanders. Dog Scooterin is once again similar to Joring. It is done with a scooter and the dog does most of the work. Hound trailing is a old English favorite in which Hounds are following a hopefully artificial trail and the 'Hunters' are following on foot or on horseback.
Dog Shows are also considered a sport, but I question the intentions of some of the breeders that participate. I have heard a lot of stories about how 'failures' get discarded and such. And breeding a dog for looks often leaves them with health issues that affect their comfort and lifespan.
Rally Obedience is Obedience with a kick. Teams move from station to station (dog heeling) and follow instructions on what to do. There are usually 10-20 stations.
Musical Canine Freestyle is like a ballet for canines. The team performs a serious of Obedience related things and tricks to their music and show both the creativity of the owner and the Obedience of the dog.

The intention of competing in a sport should be two-fold: Yes, you want to compete and do well. But you should not forget that sport is suppose to be fun; for both you and the dogs!

Weight Pulling requires training and strict observance of the condition of the dog. It is too easy for the dog to get injured in his attempt to please his 'pack leader'.

Dog Racing follows the natural 'need' of certain dog breeds to run and enjoy their strength, but money-motivated people have turned it into the ugly sport it is today; where dogs are bred- and raced to death and discarded like trash afterwards. So many racing dogs are left unwanted, are dumped or simply killed.

Dog Sledding/Mushing was a fun game when I was a kid. My dogs loved to run and it was all about us having fun together. But when you look at races such as the Iditarod, where only few take their dog's condition and health in consideration and those irresponsible ones race their dogs to death, it makes you question if money took the game out of 'sport'.

Dog Shows may be great to show your 'work', but I always have to think about my breeder-reject Sheltie Fancy, a several hundred dollar dog given away for free because she didn't 'perform' well and had health issues and deformities from being inbred.

Hare Racing is no sport! Hunting is no sport! It is the serious business of taking a life and in the case of Hare Racing the life is taken in primitive and cruel ways.

Dog Fighting is listed as a sport, but I don't see a sport in it. For me it is animal cruelty down by low-lives. And I have no understanding for the fact that a convicted criminal is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to 'entertain' us! We wouldn't treat any other criminal as something good, so why do we treat this person as a 'star', just because he performs alright in a 'sport'!? I guess this sport also has long lost the game of it and turned into a strict business without any honor and standards!

If a Sport will allow you to do things with your dog and gives you a deeper appreciation of the faithful creature on your 'Team', enjoy it.

BUT, please don't ever forget that it is a life you are influencing! Don't let your own quest for fame, money and personal success cause harm to the creature that returns your 'ownership' with unconditional love, true faithfulness and devotion!

Dog Sports in Pictures

I hope this baby is really having fun!
I hope this baby is really having fun! | Source
Keep it Fun!
Keep it Fun! | Source
It's a combination of Obedience and Herding. The  dog has to use his nose or shoulder to drive eight balls into a goal.
It's a combination of Obedience and Herding. The dog has to use his nose or shoulder to drive eight balls into a goal. | Source
Keep it Fun!
Keep it Fun! | Source
Keep it fun!
Keep it fun! | Source
They look like they enjoy the hell out of this!
They look like they enjoy the hell out of this! | Source
Hmmmh!
Hmmmh! | Source
Source
Some of mine could use that exercise!
Some of mine could use that exercise! | Source
Source
Measure the 'pain' against the 'Fun'!
Measure the 'pain' against the 'Fun'! | Source
Another high-energy breed that needs a genius to keep a measure of control over them!
Another high-energy breed that needs a genius to keep a measure of control over them! | Source
Over half of my Labs do this in my pond every chance they get!
Over half of my Labs do this in my pond every chance they get! | Source
WOW!
WOW! | Source
This brain-child athlete is having a blast!
This brain-child athlete is having a blast! | Source
This working dog breed pup has fun and gets the needed exercise to keep this baby happy!
This working dog breed pup has fun and gets the needed exercise to keep this baby happy! | Source
Border Collies are highly-intelligent herding dogs, but their energy, intelligence and agility is well placed in almost any dog sport!
Border Collies are highly-intelligent herding dogs, but their energy, intelligence and agility is well placed in almost any dog sport! | Source
To keep a dog as energetic and agile as a Belgian Shepherd focused and controlled... WOW!
To keep a dog as energetic and agile as a Belgian Shepherd focused and controlled... WOW! | Source
Source
Working dog breeds like this multi-talented Border Collie just don't do well on couches!
Working dog breeds like this multi-talented Border Collie just don't do well on couches! | Source
Even smaller dogs like to have some fun!
Even smaller dogs like to have some fun! | Source
This is what 'Sport' is all about: FUN! And a little 'Family' too!
This is what 'Sport' is all about: FUN! And a little 'Family' too! | Source
Some of my high-energy dogs would die for a run like this! Just would need some real breaks, an anchor or something similarly effective to stop them!
Some of my high-energy dogs would die for a run like this! Just would need some real breaks, an anchor or something similarly effective to stop them! | Source
It takes a lot of control and obedience to ensure the dog's attack-force is contained into reasonable measures and nobody gets hurt (unless it is a real attack!).
It takes a lot of control and obedience to ensure the dog's attack-force is contained into reasonable measures and nobody gets hurt (unless it is a real attack!). | Source
My Kathie will do anything to get her ball and as a Labrador she is addicted to water!
My Kathie will do anything to get her ball and as a Labrador she is addicted to water! | Source
Source

What is Flyball? - Flyball Documentary - Dog Sports

Splash Dogs - Dock Diving (Dog Sports)

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Comments 4 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

To a dog, work is usually fun. However, far too many breeders and owners exploit their dogs.

I get a kick out of dachshund racing. I used to have some long-haired dachshund, and they were the only dogs I was ever able to outrun.


Cat R profile image

Cat R 4 years ago from North Carolina, U.S. Author

I have my own Wiener race in my yard every day. grin And almost all of them are Mixes. It is so funny to see them race across my 2.5 acres fenced in front yard!


Dewette profile image

Dewette 4 years ago from NV

Awesome hub! I grew up with Huskies and while I didn`t do agility with my Tia Marie, I did show her in both conformation and obedience. I love the doxie racing and the dog and owner dancing. There`s multiple videos on youtube about the dancing, they`re amazing!


Derdriu 4 years ago

Cat R: What a charming, informative, upbeat hub article on keeping the dogs in one's life happy, fit and competitive! In particular, I always find dog sledding fascinating because the driver must be skilled and the dogs super accomplished, attentive and quick.

Thank you for sharing, etc.,

Derdriu

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