The Olympics have offically begun, and many of us will be spending some of our days watching various Olympians compete in a wide variety of sports for the opportunity to win a medal for their country. But even with the excitement of the Olympics, at Bounce and Bella, we couldn’t help but start to wonder what sports we could play with our dogs to celebrate.
Of course, the first sport that comes to mind is agility training and seeing all those dogs competing at Crufts! But there are a variety of other sports that you can try out to play with your dog.
After all, as Pet Parents, we love taking the opportunity to take some time out and play with our dogs and playing some sports with them is the perfect opportunity to spend time together. Playing sports with your dog also means that you are ensuring they receive the physical and mental stimuli they need. It also allows us at Pet Parents to stay fit and active too!
Remember, playing sports with your dog isn’t always about getting them to a level that they can compete, but it can also be about just spending time with your dog and playing a sport with them.
Sports to Play with your Dog
Although frisbee is a competitive sport to play with your dog, it’s also one that can be done for pure fun and enjoyment too! All you need is a frisbee, an open area and your dog, who will hopefully be excited at the prospect of playing disc and all the running it entails.
As the pet parent, your job is to throw the frisbee for your dog as far as you can for them to run, jump and catch it before bringing the frisbee back to you to start all over again!
In professional competitions, points are awarded based on how far your dog has been able to catch the frisbee and points for the style of catch that they perform.
We’ve already written about the power of your dog’s sense of smell, and there are scent dedicated sports to play with your dog to help train this powerful tool of theirs!
Although primarily a competitive sport to show how fine-tuned your dog’s sense of smell is and one where the dog is in charge, scent tracking can be adapted for home environments too.
Scent Tracking Sports at home can be done in a variety of ways. Whether you’re hiding some tasty grain-free training treats throughout the house for your dog to track down and retrieve (or eat!) or if your dog is especially good at recall, then while out on walks perhaps hiding close by to see they can track you down by scent alone.
Canicross is a great sport to play with your dog as it’s a sport that keeps you both active, healthy, happy and on the go!
A combination of canine and cross country, all you need for Canicross is a Canicross Harness to wrap around your waist, attach your dog’s lead to it, and safe track or open space to run, and off you go!
Canicross is perfect, especially if you’re already a runner, as it’s the ideal opportunity to start bringing your best friend with you on your daily runs and get the exercise you need.
A fast-paced team sport to play with your dog and others, groups of dogs compete in a relay competition. You’ve probably seen it at Crufts already, but the idea is the first dog will set out in a sprint to leap over a series of hurdles before hitting a box at the end of the run. When the dog hits the box, it triggers a mechanism that releases a ball for them to catch before returning to the start and the next dog is released.
It may sound overly complicated or too much like a competitive sport, but in fact, this is another sport for dogs that can easily be adapted for home and the family pack of dogs. Using your own DIY skills to create makeshift hurdles and instead of a box at the end of the track, swap out for a willing pet parent to throw the ball for when the dogs get to them.
An at-home version of Flyball, although not perfect like on TV, can be a great fun way to get the family pack of dogs together to keep them active and have some fun.
Probably one of the most well-known sports for dogs, dog agility is a brilliant way to develop not only your dog’s skills but your relationship and bond with your dog.
As your dog’s Pet Parent (or handler while practising agility), you guide your dog through a series of obstacles in a specific order in the quickest time possible. Obstacles can include jumping over hurdles, finding balance on see-saws, sprints through a specific area, going through tunnels, and so much more.
Dog agility is so great as a sport to play with your dog as it allows you to have fun, active training sessions with your dog and honing in on their abilities. It’s also a sport where you can practice positive reinforcement training with your dog too.
Do you play sports with your dog? If so, were any from our list and if not, then leave a comment on what sports to check out.