Dear Porky and Buddy,
I just adopted a puppy, Bongo, about six months old, a greyhound/retriever/maybe a little Jack Russell mix (or something like that) and boy is he full of energy! I am working hard on basic training but I would like to get him involved in some dog sports as soon as he is ready. Do you have any suggestions?
And now that spring is finally here, what a good time to look for interesting outdoor activities.
The choices in dog sports and recreation are many and dog sports are great options to keep active dogs both physically and mentally healthy.
Plus they are a fun way to bond even more with Bongo.
We would suggest that you try out several that you can find in your area to see what comes naturally to him.
Here are some ideas:
1. 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 a specific order. Each step of the way, the dogs are directed (or not) by their owners.
2. Canine Freestyle is a choreographed musical performance by a dog and its handler. Yes, we meant dancing with your dog. The team of “Bob and Bongo” has a certain ring to it. You can see lots of hilarious but also impressive examples on YouTube.
3. Disc dog competitions involve dog and handler teams that are judged in disc-throwing events like distance/accuracy catching and freestyle routines. It’s a more organized form of going out in the back yard and throwing a Frisbee around, but it’s fun to do and watch.
4. Dock jumping is a competition where dogs jump from a dock into a body of water in an attempt to achieve great distance or height. Again, you can always just go out to your own dock and jump off and have a lot of fun that way too.
5. Flyball is a type of relay race that involves teams of four dogs. It’s complicated but a great way for your dog to enjoy time with other dogs.
6. Herding trials involve the dog, a group of animals (often sheep), handlers and judges. The handlers give commands and the dogs do what comes naturally for the herding breeds. If you can’t find a trial nearby, maybe you can let your herding dog steer your kids around the yard. (Oops! /we didn’t really say that.)
7. Lure Coursing is a fast-paced chase sport that was developed as an alternative to hare coursing. Rather than chasing a live animal, dogs chase an artificial lure across a field and compete for best time. It uses the same sets of skills as commercial dog racing but without the betting and the mistreatment of animals that plagues that industry.
8. Rally Obedience trials involve dog/handler teams that must complete a course made up of specific obedience exercises to perform. Judges design the course and observe as the teams navigate the course. This sport tends to be less strict than traditional obedience competitions, and is open to all breeds.
9. K9 Nose Work is a fun search and scenting activity for virtually all dogs and people, inspired by working detection dogs. There are also nose work competitions for dogs an owners who want to take it to that level.
10. And our personal favorite . . . a nice long walk every day. Cheap, uncomplicated, stress free and loads of fun. The important thing is that you spend lots of active time with Bongo. It will be good for both of you – however you decide to do it.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Located at 110 W. Second St., Oswego, NY.
Phone: (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other!