Want to try something new this summer? Grab your dog and join a dog sport! There are many dog sports clubs and training facilities in Maryland, and you can even try some of these fun activities at home.
You’ve probably heard of agility, and may have seen dogs on television happily racing over ramps, weaving through poles and darting through tunnels. While it might seem like only Border Collies and Golden Retrievers are suited for agility, it’s a great activity for any active dog. Even a tiny Yorkie can be taught to go through the course. Your dog’s size does not matter – if they have lots of energy, they’ll do well in agility! Capital Dog Training Club offers agility classes in Silver Spring. You can also start with homemade obstacles in your backyard.
If your dog loves to run, they’ll love Canicross. It’s a lot like dog sledding, without the sled. All you need is a harness, a shock-absorbing bungee leash, and a waist belt. You and your dog run cross-country, your dog leading the way as they pull you forward. You can teach your dog commands for “left,” “right” and “stop,” so you can run as a team. You can run alone with your dog or join a Canicross club like Maryland Sled Dog Adventures.
Bikejoring is another pulling activity, great for dogs who do not get enough exercise from regular walks. In bikejoring, the dog leads the way, but you could also use a bike attachment that allows your dog to run alongside your bike, instead of in front. Biking with your dog can be dangerous if you use the wrong equipment or if you don’t take regular breaks; dogs can overexert themselves and get overheated easily without realizing it.
If your dog loves to fetch and play in water, they’ll love dock diving. In dock diving, dogs jump to retrieve a toy thrown into the water, competing for long distance jumps. It can be difficult to find a pool to practice in, and it’s not safe to allow your dog to jump long distances in unpredictable waters. You can attend a dock dog practice event to learn from people who have been dock diving for years.
Nosework is very similar to the work of drug and bomb detection dogs. It’s a great sport for less athletic dogs, as well as active dogs who need mental stimulation. You can easily practice at home by planting scents in boxes and jars and hiding them in your home. It’s easiest to let your dog find hidden treats, but official Nosework dogs usually sniff out essential oils like eucalyptus oil. You can take a K9 Nosework class at Buckeystown Veterinary Hospital.
Get Prepared for a Summer of Fun!
For when your dog can’t tag along on your adventures, your professional pet sitter/dog walker from Ready Pet Go will keep them from summer boredom. Contact us to set up a Meet & Greet and learn more about how we can care for your pets this summer.