Sport for a dog and a guardian: what to decide on [Behaviorist COAPE Ewa Jaworska
Are dogs natural born athletes? After reading this title, most owners will probably look at their dog, which is snoring comfortably in the bed, and will smile with pity. Wherever my dog is fit for any sport?!Sport for the dog
But here's a surprise! This may not be entirely true! There are (well, almost) as many sports and activities for dogs as for people, so every pooch will find something for themselves!
It does not matter if he is an athletic two-year-old sighthound or a senior dog from a shelter with poor eyesight.
I am convinced that each of them can find the Olympic "discipline " according to their abilities and have a great time. And we with him!
- Advantages of dog sports
- Sport for the dog: agility
- Sport for dogs: canicross
- Sport for the dog: dogtrekking
- Sport for the dog: obedience
- Sport for the dog: dogfrisbee
- Dog sport: nosework
- Advantages of the olfactory work
- Utility tracking
Advantages of dog sports
What are the advantages of training together with your dog?? There are really many of them:
- improving communication between the guardian and the dog,
- better focus on the environment and caregiver,
- meeting the need for work and movement,
- increasing the dog's motivation and …
- commitment to the work of both the dog and the guardian,
- a great way to prevent boredom in a dog and lack of joint activities,
- increasing the dog's self-confidence,
- experiencing successes together,
- Watching a dog at work teaches us to be mindful ,
- Super fun!
Of course, when choosing a sport, you should adjust it to the capabilities and needs of your dog.
As in sports, not everyone will do equally well in a given discipline, so there is no need to get tired and exaggerate your expectations of a dog. It is all about spending time together wisely, relaxing and having fun!
Below are just a few examples of the most popular canine sports.
Sport for the dog: agilitySport for the dog: agility
Agility is a sport for small and large dogs that love to overcome obstacles on specially prepared tracks.
A dog led by its guardian with the help of voice commands and gestures must properly jump over the pole, cross the tunnel, avoid cones, climb a ramp or jump over a hoop.
Agility tracks they can be different, but they generally look like one big amusement park and a playground for our dog. What counts here is the precise overcoming of an obstacle and the time to overcome it, so canine philosophers who have to think through each of their steps first, may not fully find themselves in it ?
For many dogs who love exercise and work for humans, it is a perfect place to play. You can often meet on such tracks:
- border collie,
But there are really no restrictions here, the obstacles are sized according to the size of the dog, so any canine athlete can handle it.
Sport for dogs: canicrossSport for dogs: canicross
Canicross it's something for jogging fans. The dog runs in front of its guardian on a special cord with a shock absorber, helping him to run.
It is a dream sport for dogs that also work well in dog sleds, such as:
- samoyeds, but not only.
Although, let's face it - it's hard to imagine a one-kilogram chihuahua dragging its guardian with it. It might not work out completely! But it would certainly look quite spectacular.
Sport for the dog: dogtrekking
Dogtrekking is somewhat similar to the above-described canicross, except that in this case the dog walks with the handler and does not run.
Such a human-dog couple can thus cover a long distance in the form of a walk. Again, it is a sport for dogs that like to travel long distances, need exercise and do not get tired too quickly.
Sport for the dog: obedienceSport for the dog: obedience
Obedience is an increasingly popular discipline in Poland - the so-called sports obedience.
If we want to practice this sport professionally, we have to prepare well, because precision and perfect communication with the guardian are what counts here. At our request, the dog carries out the commands or commands suggested in advance and should carry them out in a certain way.
If we do not care about sports success, but rather about good and relaxed fun, then it is worth choosing the so-called "Rally- O", that is Rally obedience, which is more laid back, less stiff and focused more on having fun than learned obedience.
Sport for the dog: dogfrisbeeSport for the dog: dogfrisbee
Dogfrisbee is a spectacular discipline that involves throwing a disc for a dog (so-called frisbee). The dog should jump up, grab the frisbee disc and bring it to the handler.
We distinguish between different subcategories, but the general principle is the same. It is a sport that attracts many viewers, and in social media we can often see a pooch that, for example, bounces off the guardian, jumps very high and catches the disc in a spectacular way.
However, remember that, as with any sport, you should be careful. Not all dogs have healthy joints and are physically fit enough to cope with this discipline.
From the behavioral side, dogs can also get so-called object fixation and become addicted to disc running, which is not healthy. Therefore, you always have to train carefully and do everything wisely.
Coursing is one of the favorite sports for all crazy greyhound keepers. Coursing consists in chasing "prey " (it is often a mock hare or other fur coat), which is dragged on the ground and thus imitates the way the animal escapes during a hunt.
Greyhounds, as hunting dogs and hounds, have a natural predisposition to chase fleeing animals, so this is how we can satisfy the instinct that lies dormant in them.
Of course, this is not a discipline reserved only for "greyhounds ", other dogs can also find themselves in it perfectly well, unless our dog is one of those that will look at the fleeing object, shrug their shoulders and return to lie on their bed.
Dog sport: noseworkNosework
Nosework is definitely my favorite activity for a dog, which will bring a lot of joy to virtually every dog!
You do not need special predispositions, a sports figure straight from the catalog for dog bodybuilders or a young age. Nosework it is really for everyone, that's why I like it so much!
What is? It's easy! We use the natural gift of each pooch, i.e. his nose.
A dog has 40 times more scent cells than a human and can remember around 600,000 scents. Where are we to them!
In a few words, nosework is the detection of smells that we are concerned with, among other smells, or hiding the right smell, for example in a room.
At the beginning you should enclose the fragrance in a box (it could be a yoghurt container or a cardboard box with holes, we don't need any professional accessories if we treat it as entertainment).
We show the scent to the dog and reward him when he takes an interest in it.
Then we place the box among other similar ones, but without the smell, and our pooch has to find the right smell we want. Then we can add "for deception " also other smells, such as the smell of coffee or tea, so that our dog has a difficult task in finding the desired, desired smell.
Often the fragrance is used as such:
- orange peel,
Advantages of the olfactory work
The olfactory work actually has only advantages:
- relaxes the dog,
- stimulates him to intellectual work,
- tired him in a healthy way,
- consumes a lot of energy,
- satisfies the natural urge to sniff,
- it is the perfect complement to physical activity,
- calms reactive dogs,
- increases the sense of self-confidence in fearful dogs,
- a dog of any age and condition can do it.
Utility tracking is a great activity that makes use of a dog's sensitive nose!
English name "mantrailing ”Explains well what it is all about - we are talking about tracking down a human being. Tracking can be purely reactionary when the dog searches for a hidden helper, but it is also an extremely useful tool, for example in police work, when the dog is tasked with "catching " the trail of a missing person or a criminal.
In both cases, we must first familiarize the dog with the thing or clothing that has the smell of a missing person or a helper, and then the dog catches the trail and follows it.
Of course, a lot depends on the dog's level of advancement, his ability to distinguish between odors, not to be distracted, and whether the smell is fresh or has already breathed out.
Our task as guardians is to keep the dog on a long, loose line, observe its movements and not help it ? It is the dog that should decide which way he is going and where he thinks the helper is hiding.
When he manages to reach him, he receives a great reward in the form of flavors or fun and is very happy. And we are bursting with pride!
I did one of my first hunts with a blind Maltese man and you know what? He found me after 5 minutes!
This is clear evidence that tracking is not reserved for dogs born as purebred trackers. Every dog has the ability to follow a scent. And the entertainment is as fun for the dog as it is for the caregiver.
The subject of canine activities and sports is very wide, more and more people engage with their dogs in this form of spending time. If we do it wisely, we do not expect the dog to satisfy our ambitions and adapt the sport to our pooch, that's great!
Then we will use this time to play together and improve communication and psychophysical involvement of the dog, which will certainly pay off. So let's get to work - let's put on sneakers and go with our dog to the dog's sports Olympics!
Sources used >>