Dog Sports - fun with your dogs!
It started in the US with the AKC
The AKC (American Kennel Club) started in 1884 as a competition for purebred dogs. It was a way of judging breeding stock.
Since then AKC has added lots of performance
Since then there has been enormous growth both in the organizations sponsoring competitions and the sports and games to play.
Every PWD, whether they are a member of a PWD club or not is eligible to participate. Based on the work the dogs did on the boats in Portugal puppies can get started earning their Junior Water Dog Certificate.
When I first competed with Sara in 1994 there were just 3 levels, Apprentice Working and Courier. As we’ve all gotten better at training the Club has added new challenges and added a Master level that includes exercises no one could have imagined when these trials first started.
More info at PWDCA.org. You can find Regional Clubs (most have events and sponsor training. The downloadable Water Trial Manual tells you much of what you need to train. 4myPWDs.com sells all of the equipment you’ll need.
Whether you compete or not agility is fun for both you and your dog and is great for building relationships.
It’s based on equestrian jumping. There is a course made up of jumps, tunnels, and obstacles with numbered cones next to them giving you the order to follow. (It changes every time.)
Google “agility classes near me” to find some local places to train. Go and watch before signing up to make sure that you feel comfortable with the facility and trainer.
Because your dog is going on equipment it’s critical that you learn how to do it properly. Puppies can start in classes that are designed to help them build confidence and self-control.
Rally (aka Rally-O) grew out of obedience. As a warm-up for obedience many trainers did “doodles.” Little exercises to help the teams practice and get warmed up.
Unlike regular obedience where a Judge tells you what to do Rally is a preset course (similar to agility) of stations each with an exercise printed on a card.