Playing sports with your dog

Playing sports with your dog can also be an opportunity to put yourself in some activities!

Stay in shape you and your dog and you will also have the opportunity to build a relationship based on respect, obedience and complicity with him. We will consider here a physical activity outside of any consideration of competition, knowing also that each activity is not necessarily adapted to all breeds of dogs.

It is therefore up to you to develop these exercises in a leisure or competition setting and to adapt the exercises to the morphology of your dog and to the inherent capacities of his breed.

We will present you with several ways to practice a sporting activity with your pet. The solutions are numerous and the proposals range from the simple ball to different accessories, which with more or less space (some are adapted for the interior of a home) allow you to organize exercise sessions for your dog. And when you yourself regularly practice an activity such as running, cycling you can take your dog along without the risk of losing control.

One discipline, agility

If this discipline for dogs is practiced a lot in competitions, you will find in the trade the material of “agility”, to exercise your dog without seeking at all costs a performance. Your objective is first of all that your dog has fun passing through tunnels, jumping over various obstacles, guided by your voice and your presence; your authority is at the same time more easily accepted, especially since it must put him in confidence to succeed on his course. Agility tunnels come in a variety of lengths and shapes. You can start your dog with a rigid tunnel, straight and then bent to make him move on to tunnels without hoops; in this case it is up to your dog to make his way through a fluid fabric which does not particularly indicate the way to follow!

With a little space inside, you can even get your dog used to this accessory by presenting him with a mini tunnel, for example in a hallway…
During this activity, the dog will develop his landmarks in a dark and small space, his suppleness and his flair for “feeling” the exit.

A game of skill and speed: flyball

This game is simply the throwing of the ball. The goal for your dog is to catch a ball that you have thrown, the exercise is for the dog to go fast and also to be agile. Depending on the breed of dog, it is not uncommon to see some dogs performing acrobatics to retrieve the ball in flight and bring it back very quickly.
Tonicity, spatial awareness, alertness are the abilities developed by this game.

The activities that challenge both the handler and his dog are for example jogging and even cycling. However, it is important to be reasonable for your pet and to take into account its size and physical faculties. These activities are usually of medium to long duration and the pads on your dog’s paws are sensitive to overheating depending on the terrain.

The jogging accessory is simple: take a harness – preferable to the simple leash – for a good distribution of the traction effort produced by your dog, and here you go, hands free but still able to control your canine partner if ever he feels the need to stop or to go and tell a story along the way.

Bicycle accessories are a bit similar: harnesses for the cyclist (but be careful with the traction) or fixation system on the bike (prefer a fixation at the seatpost and not on the handlebar for stability reasons!).

This discipline is suitable for dogs of a certain corpulence, resistant and who like to run for a long time; it requires a good habit on the part of the master before starting long runs, for reasons of balance. Mountain bikes or mountain bikes are more suitable for this practice because you don’t take your dog on the road but on paths or off the beaten track.

If doing sports with your dog is above all an adaptation to his morphology, it is quite possible to do activities with young dogs: dog toys are abundant and are, like balls, objects to catch and bring back, while being less harmful to growing jaws and teeth. This is an opportunity to develop a sense of play and obedience. Physical development comes in a second stage with growth.

The presentation of this equipment is proof that their purpose is to strengthen the relationship between the master and his dog while maintaining the physical condition of the animal. Everyone finds the accessory and the activity adapted to his dog and each obstacle, whatever it is, is, for the master, the assurance of developing not only the physical capacities of his dog but also his sensory capacities (notion of landmark, balance, reflex…).