Spring is Here – Get Outside & Get Active with Your Dog
Spring officially arrives today. Many areas of the country have already been experiencing spring-like weather. Even if you're still awaiting the end of winter temperatures in your area, you can plan ahead!
This spring consider investing some time in training and spending time with the four-legged member of your family. With longer daylight hours and warmer weather, there's no better time. There are quite a few fun activities you can do with your dog, in addition to walking and hiking. Treibball, agility, and dock diving are just a few of the fun sports you can try with your dog. They are great ways to keep your dog both physically and mentally active.
AKC Canine Partners member, Kurtis of Kingfisher CAX DJ RATN CGC FDX (pictured), loves dock diving, coursing and a number of other fun games with his owners Amy Maxfield & Wade Shetler of Clearwater, FL.
Treibball is a sport in which a dog uses his nose or shoulders to drive balls into a specific area. This is a great sport for herding breeds and other dogs who like to chase and work with you. A great part about this sport is that it doesn't require the handler to run, and dogs of most fitness levels can play! More information: http://www.americantreibballassociation.org/
The sport most people have heard of, agility, is a great way to get in shape with your dog! The handler isn't required to run with the dog, but it can make your dog’s job easier. This is a sport in which dogs race through an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and contact obstacles. The handler guides the dog through the course, and it's a great sport to try even if you never want to compete. Agility training builds teamwork and communication skills between you and your dog. Check out some foundation agility classes near you this spring! More information: http://www.akc.org/events/agility/
Dock diving is growing in popularity in many areas of the country. This fast-paced sport is simple, but not necessarily easy! Dogs take turns jumping off a platform into water. The handler throws a toy into the water ahead of the dog to encourage it to jump as far as it can. Judges measure how far the dog jumped and dogs compete against each other for the longest distances jumped in different categories. If your dog likes to swim and chase after balls or bumpers, he likely doesn't need any special training to get started in dock diving! More information: http://northamericadivingdogs.com/
Coursing is another fun outdoors sport that requires little to no training. AKC offers AKC Coursing Ability Tests for all dogs incluidng mixed breeds enrolled in AKC Canine Partners. Dogs chase a lure, usually white trash bags, pulled around a field and have a great deal of fun, plus get a lot of exercise. More information: http://www.akc.org/events/coursing-ability-test/
So, this spring when you think about getting active again, plan some activities for your dog, too!
Note: make sure your dog is in good shape to start a new activity or workout schedule. Get the okay from your vet and gradually build up to a higher level activity.