Dog SportsThis is a featured page

There is an almost endless number of possibilities you can pursue when wanting to participate in sports with your dog. The degree of competition and popularity varies, along with what kind of sports certain dogs excel in, but it is a lot of fun to peruse all the different opportunities out there for the 4-legged athlete in your home. Below you'll find a sample and brief description of some of the sports available to canines, followed by some internet resources for more information.

We're just getting started so check back soon!

Dock Diving:
Dog Sports - Dogs & Dog Rescue
First appearing on ESPN in 2000, dock diving is a sport which is similar to long jump in track & field. Dogs leap off of a 40 foot long dock into a long pool after a lure thrown by their handlers. Inside the pool is a fixed measuring device. The winner is simply determined by the dog who jumps the farthest. Dogs are categorized as Novice, Junior, Senior, Master, Elite, or Super Elite jumpers based on the distance they can clear from the dock.

Any breed of dog is able to participate in dock diving. Labrador Retrievers seem to excel in the sport. For more information regarding rules, local clubs and how to join, and upcoming events see .

Dock diving club in the Atlanta/N.E. Georgia Area: Dixie Dock Dogs.

Dog Sports - Dogs & Dog Rescue

Agility is a sport in which a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by overcoming different obstacles.

In this sport the handler is given a set amount of time to direct their dog off-leash around a course. Originally loosely modeled on equestrian stadium jumping competitions, the sport has evolved its own additional obstacles, scoring systems, and performance ideals.

Agility courses usually consist of jumps, tunnels, a tire, a pause table, weave poles, and contact obstacles. The contact obstacles include the dog-walk, see-saw, and A-frame. Success in agility requires proper training, as it is a game of physical skill, control, patience and, most of all, teamwork between handler and dog. Agility is a race against the clock, but accuracy is the first requirement. (excerpt from

Lure Coursing:

Lure coursing is a sport primarily for sighthound breeds that simulates an open field chase of small prey. Small, flashy lures are set up and run via an electronic device, and competing dogs are then released to chase the lure through the designated course.

Please see the American Sighthound Field Association for more information about lure coursing.


Flyball is a relay race with 4 dogs on a team.

The course consists of a starting line, 4 hurdles spaced 10 feet apart and a box. The first hurdle is 6 feet from the start line and the box is 15 feet from the last hurdle for a 51 foot overallDog Sports - Dogs & Dog Rescue length. The dogs jump the hurdles and steps on a spring loaded box that shoots out a tennis ball. The dog catches the tennis ball and then runs back over the 4 hurdles. When the dog crosses the starting line the next dog goes. The first team to have all 4 dogs run without errors wins the heat.

Tournaments are usually organized in either a double elimination or round robin format. Double elimination is usually best of 3 or best of 5. Round robin is usually best 3 out of 5 and the first team to win 3 heats receives 1 point towards their standing in the tournament. The hurdles' height are dependent on the height of the dogs in the team -- 4" below the shoulder height of the shortest dog. 8" is the minimum height and 16" is the maximum height.

The dogs earn points towards flyball titles based on the teams time. Learn more!

Flyball DogsNorth American Flyball Association

Weight Pull:
Dog Sports - Dogs & Dog Rescue

Weight pull is a sport in which the competing dog is tested to see how much weight he can pull over a distance of 16 feet within 1 minute. The dogs are connected by a special weight pull harness to either a wheeled cart or a sled. On these devices some sort of weight (usually cinder blocks) are added in increments until the dog reaches its maximum (determined by its ability to pull the weight the alloted distance). Handlers are not allowed physical contact with the dogs during their pull attempts; they may stand at the end of the 16 foot track and encourage the dog to pull, but it is only the dog's motivation to pull the weight that will get it to the end of the track.

Competing dogs are divided by weight classes to level the playing field. Each dog is allowed 5 pulls, and the scores are derived by taking an average of those pulls. Dogs earn points based on their number of completed pulls and number of dogs they beat. Pull-offs are performed to determine champions.

Any breed, purebred or mixed, can participate in weight pulling events. Many northern breeds tend to do well in this sport, as well as American Pit Bull and Staffordshire Terriers. For more information, see the International Weight Pull Association or the American Pulling Alliance.

Dog Sports - Dogs & Dog Rescue
Schutzhund competition is comprised of 3 different tests: tracking, obedience, and protection. The sport was originally created to determine which dogs were the most trainable, motivated, and generally suitable to be working dogs. To compete a dog in schutzhund you must have a very solid foundation in obedience before any other training can be done. Not all dogs can become competitors in this sport. Breeds which excel in schutzhund include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Doberman Pinschers, among other dogs originally bred for working.


Freestyle, heel work to music, doggy dancing - different names for this spectacular canine sport! Here anybody and any dog can take part in, no matter dancing abilities, age, agility, size, breed, etc. You are free to do whatever you can so that you show your dog in the best possible way!

What you have to do is to choose a piece of music that suits your dog well, train it some tricks, decide what the sequence will be and then ... you have a dance which you can show to your family, friends or even in competitions! There are really no limitations! Even disabled people can do it! Why not try this exciting and relatively new canine sport? It is a great form of exercise for both of you and is worth trying!

Your dog may jump, beg, shake hands, heel, weave, spin, and more!

Jumping togetherJumping over my legBeggingShaking right pawHugging Running at heelGoing between my legsWeavingJumping over my armHappy waving

More dog sports!

There are even more kinds of sports that you can enjoy with your dog. Your dog will be healthier and happier for it, and you can have fun too!

Here is a good start - click and learn more!

Latest page update: made by TheDogOutdoors , May 18 2009, 10:36 AM EDT (about this update About This Update TheDogOutdoors Another dog sport - TheDogOutdoors

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