Summer is right around the corner, and it’s a great time to get involved in a dog sport! Dog sports are a great way to bond with your pup, continue training, and burn off some extra energy. If you’ve never thought of trying a dog sport, check out this list that showcases a few of AKC’s most popular sports.
In Agility, you guide your dog through a series of obstacles like jumps, tunnels, ramps, and weave poles. The novice level of competition is very beginner friendly, and there are lower jump heights available for older dogs or those with previous injuries. Agility is great exercise for your dog and you!
Does your pup love to swim and retrieve? Dock diving may be the sport for you! Dogs compete in distance and height competitions all while jumping from a dock for their favorite toy. Dock diving competitions are divided into size categories for the dogs competing, so even little dogs can be competitive! The AKC recognizes the titles of the North American Diving Dogs (NADD) organization.
Fast CAT is a shortened version of a Coursing Ability Test (CAT). It’s a 100-yard sprint chasing a lure. Dogs go crazy for Fast CAT as they are encouraged to run as fast as they can on a straight track following the lure. They can earn points for Fast CAT titles for successfully completed runs! Lure Coursing is for sight hounds only, but dogs of any breed may enjoy earning CAT and Fast CAT titles.
AKC Scent Work is a very popular sport in which dogs use their noses to search out specific odors. It is based on the work of professional detection dogs (such as drug dogs). Dogs are challenged to find the odors indoors, outdoors, in containers, and even buried underground! Scent Work is a great sport for dogs who may have mobility challenges, as they use their noses more than their athletic ability.
Dogs and handlers navigate a numbered course at their own pace. Each station on the course has a different obedience exercise for the dog and handler to complete. The beginner level of Rally competitions are performed on leash, making this a great introductory dog sport for new competitors!
Virtual Titling Opportunities
If you live in an area that is too hot to get outdoors in the summer, consider many of the virtual titling programs AKC has on offer! Virtual Rally, Trick Dog, Virtual Scent Work, and even Virtual Obedience titling tracks are available. Please visit this link for more information about our virtual titling programs: AKC Virtual Programs
Almost every dog will love at least one of these sports because they provide an opportunity to have fun with a favorite person. And they also are a great way for you to meet like-minded dog lovers. Check out the links below to learn more and find out how to get started!