Agility is a fast-growing and popular sport that has taken the dog world by storm! Popular with both pet owners and competitive dog trainers', agility is an inclusive sport open to all dogs and handlers of different shapes, sizes, and abilities. Agility first appeared as a filler spectator sport at the Crufts Dog show in the United Kingdom in 1978. The sport has its origins in horse show jumping and was officially recognized by the kennel club in 1980. National agility clubs like the Agility Association of Canada (AAC) and United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) began to appear in the early to mid-1980s. Since then, agility has become the fastest growing dog sport in North American and around the world.
In this sport breakdown, we will take a look at the sport of agility! There is so much to cover for this fast and fun sport that for the first time ever we’re splitting our sport breakdown into FOUR parts! In the first instalment of our agility series, we’re taking a deeper look into what the sport of agility is and the physical demands it places on our dogs. Then, in Part Two, we’ll review the potential injuries that can occur and a few common signs and symptoms that owners should watch out for. Part Three will highlight what YOU can do from an injury prevention standpoint to help keep your agility dog off the sidelines. Finally, in Part Four, we’ll look at the role of canine conditioning for our agility dogs, why we should be conditioning our dogs, and what we should be including in a conditioning program tailored to the agility sport dog.
Dog obedience is one sport that most pet owners will have a passing familiarity to as many are first introduced to the sport when their dogs are young by attending a local training class for obedience. There is, however, a large community of avid dog trainers who compete in the sport of obedience and a closer examination of the sport can show us just how physically demanding the sport of obedience can be for our dogs!
In this week blog, I breakdown the sport of obedience, explain what it is, the physical demands it places on our dogs, and how conditioning can play a role in the obedience dog’s performance.
If I asked you to list all the dog sports you could think of would you include conformation in your list? If you didn't ask yourself why? It may come as a surprise but conformation dogs are athletes in their own right and have unique physical and mental demands placed on them to do their sport well.
In my next edition of sport breakdown I take a look at the sport of conformation and review the physical demands asked of our conformation dogs and how conditioning can have a part in helping your canine athlete succeed in the ring.