Some of us might remember the “Air Bud” franchise. Bud, a Golden Retriever stars in many movies playing a variety of sports. Including, Air Bud, Golden Receiver!
We all have the “Big Game” on our minds this time of year. Some of us look forward to the the adorable “puppy version”! There’s a lot of excitement in the air, and maybe your athletic pup is ready to jump into the action too! He might not be able to catch a football like Air Bud but there are a variety of sports for dogs! Of course, agility competitions are well known now, but there’s plenty more where that came from.
If Fido can catch a Frisbee, he’d be a great contestant in a Disc Dog contest! There are a couple ways to compete, including distance based challenges and choreographed routines.
Sled dog racing is perfect for all those big dogs who love the snow! The famous Iditarod might be a bit extreme for most of our city dogs, but there are smaller scale versions. And if they aren’t snow lovers, maybe they can try carting, which would definitely get a lot of comments along the Hudson River, that’s for sure!
Bikejoring is also fun for both you and the dog! All you need is a bike, a towline, and a dog (or two) that loves to run. And for the skiers out there, there are also harnesses you can get to go Skijoring! It’s probably safe to say it’s best for those with lots of skiing experience, though.
If you’ve got a herding dog, maybe sheepdog herding is your best bet.
There are even local farms and trainers who teach you and your dog how to work as a team.
This is a great way to escape the city and get your “working” dog the exercise and stimulation he needs!
There is also Treibball, the urban herding game where dogs gather and drive large exercise balls into a soccer goal.
For the overactive, fetch loving pup, there is Flyball!
Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from a start/finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball. Flyball is run in teams of four dogs, as a relay.
The Doggie Academy in Brooklyn has a variety of training classes including Agility and Flyball.
Lastly, there are all kinds of competitive dancing for your dog too, as long as they don’t step on your toes too much! From freestyle to heelwork, there’s plenty of options for those of us with any rhythm. Regardless, it looks like a lot of fun for everyone!
Not only are dog sports fun and entertaining, they really can be a good training tool as well. And even if your dog just prefers to cuddle on the couch, these sports are enjoyable just to watch, too!