How do dog sports strengthen the bond between you and your dog?
Dogs and humans are different creatures, but love being together. The question is, what can we do together?
Sports become learning experiences for humans and canines
. Just as every human is different, every dog and breed
is different. While some dogs may excel and love agility, others might prefer to go tracking. It’s important to try out several sports to see what is
the most fun for you and your dog
By learning to be a sports team, your dog will figure out how you communicate
with her, and you will learn how to best communicate and read your dog
. Being a team means both members must be on the same page to be successful
. By working and learning together, you and your pup will form a deeper bond and understanding of each other.
Sports fall into two basic categories:
Human driven – These are sports such as agility, obedience, rally, and others where the dog learns to work off the cue of the human.
Dog driven – These are sports such as tracking, scent work, barn hunt, and others where dogs are searching for a particular scent the human has trained them to find, and the human is left to work off the cues of the dog.
Dog sports also provide your pup with exercise, both physically and mentally. It’s important for a dog to have mental challenges, not only physical ones.
Human Driven Sports
Until recently, these were the more popular dog sports. Even simple obedience can be thought of as a sport. Starting with a new puppy, teaching your little one the basics of sit, down, come, all challenge their brains. A puppy needs to learn what your body and hands are signaling, and what those words mean as well. In human driven sports, dogs learn to read hand and body signals to do distance work, and to stay on a course. Most of the obedience, rally, and agility mistakes are caused by a handler with a body position or hand signal that confused their dog. Together handlers and dogs work on improving their communication and understanding skills.
Dog Driven Sports
Can you imagine searching for a lost glove in an open field with grass almost up to your eyeballs? Sounds crazy, right?
If you try dog driven sports, you will learn the power of the canine nose
. Tracking is a sport where you train your dog to find a glove or piece of cloth in a big field. If you take a tracking test, you must trust your dog
, because you will have no other way to find the glove to pass the test.
Nose work, Scent Work, and Barn Hunt are also sports where the dog is trained to find a particular scent in a certain area. You train with your dog for a long time to teach them what they are looking for, and most importantly, to tell you where it is when they locate it. Dogs love searching for things, making dog driven sports ideal for all dogs. You as the human, will be amazed at what your dog can do with her nose.
The Overall Benefits Of Dog Sports
- A physical and mental workout for your dog
- You learn so much about each other
- More time spent having fun together
- The more you train, the more you will trust each other
- Both human and canine will be a happier pair
- If you choose, you can compete and earn titles as a team