Oct. 08.2021 | Updated: October 8, 2021

What Are the Different Dog Sports: Can Your Dog Take Part in Sports Competitions

Different Dog Sports

Surely many of us have seen a series of movies about the dog Bad, who can play volleyball and basketball, or other similar movies about dogs. Do you think our pets can really be athletes and participate in competitions, and not just run after a ball in a dog park? In the 20th century, it was popular to compete with pets. Nowadays, sports for a dog are selected according to its physical capabilities and character. Of course, there are benefits from such activities, you can strengthen the bond between you, and improve the physical and mental health of the pet. Competitions for different sports are often held in the USA, and the AKC is involved in securing these competitions and recognizing titles. The official website of the organization has all the necessary information about them. If you are interested in this topic, then check out the list of top dog sports below, and you can choose the most suitable type for your pet!

What Are the Different Dog Sports?

Sport is a great solution for active dog breeds. During training, they would be able to throw out all the accumulated energy, besides, sport also disciplines, so there should be no problems with the execution of commands.


Carting dog

This sport satisfies the cravings instinct and helps the dog to expend extra energy. Most often this is a team sport, but there are also single races. When carting, the dog must pull a cart filled with various things. There are no restrictions on the participation of a certain breed, but most often Mastiff, St Bernard, and others take part in competitions. Before you start training for this sport, check out the characteristics your dog should have:

  • No disease;
  • Brave and confident attitude, not easy to scare;
  • Strong muscle tissue;
  • Easy to be motivated to follow a specific command;
  • Liking of pulling.

Sled Dog Racing

Sled Dog Racing

This sport is similar to the previous one, except dogs need to pull the cart not with things, but with their dog handlers. Previously, it was a popular way to travel in winter, and now it is also a sport for the duration of distances. Most often, sled dogs such as Husky take part in dog competitions. Among the required characteristics:

  • Great endurance;
  • Hard work and perseverance;
  • Ability to work in a team and lack of aggression;
  • Friendliness;
  • Easily tolerate frost;
  • Love to run and have a competitive spirit.


Flyball dog

Flyball is an active dog sports in which dogs compete with each other in a hurdle race. Google some videos from the competition, and you would really like them. Each team consists of four dogs of any breed and participates in the race. There is only one limitation – height. So, somewhat like basketball for humans, dogs participating in this sport must be tall. A pet with the following characteristics is best suited:

  • Quickness, agility, and balanced disposition;
  • They love to bring something to the owner;
  • Would not be distracted until the command is executed.

Dock Jumping

Dock Jumping

Dock jumping is a competition in which a dog jumps from a dock into the water. The dog handler throws the toy off the dock, trying to get the dog to jump as far as possible. Distance is measured where the root of the tail meets water. For accuracy, jumps are usually recorded on a camera. If you want your pet to take part in this sport, it must love water and be energetic. Labrador Retrievers often compete, so it is generally believed that this is the ideal breed for dock jumping.

Dog Agility

Dog Agility

Agility is one of the most popular canine sports. The dog must overcome obstacles directly through verbal commands, physical signals, or movements of the dog handler while performing the specific actions necessary for each obstacle in the shortest possible time. During the competition, it is forbidden to touch dogs, use a method of reward or toys. All breeds can compete if they have the following characteristics:

  • Fast execution of commands;
  • Excellent hearing, vision, and coordination;
  • Good endurance.

Most often, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds usually take part in such competitions.

Tracking Trial

Tracking Trial

This sport is a bit like hunting because dogs need to use their sense of smell to track. Search and rescue dogs are very good at such skills, and often friendly speed races are held between them. However, there are competitions where your dog can take part. Of course, Hounds are the most likely to win because they have a genetic predisposition for hunting and tracking. Note the desired characteristics for the dog:

  • Good scent;
  • Ability to concentrate on the goal;
  • Good endurance;

In other words, the dog must keep searching despite the distractions. Once a dog is distracted from its goal, it may be disqualified.


Canicross dog

The list of dog sports types is constantly growing. Canicross is a relatively new type because it was previously used as a canine training technique. In competitions, you may need elastic cords, harnesses, and belts. Sometimes a dog handler can participate with two dogs. You need to go through different distances faster than anyone, and then gold is yours. There are no breed restrictions, so in theory, even a Chihuahua can take part. Dogs that are most likely to be successful in this sport are:

  • Very mobile;
  • Have a high degree of endurance;
  • Haven’t joint problems;
  • Love of running;
  • Have an ability to focus on the goal.

Disc Dog

Border collie dog catching frisbee in jump in summer

The disc is one of the most popular types of dog sports. When a person throws a Frisbee, the dog must bring it back. Sounds simple enough, but it requires a close connection between the dog and the handler because the pet should not be distracted by anything or run to play with the Frisbee. There are different variations of the competition, for example, by distance or the presence of choreographic elements. Most often, dogs of a sports group (Border Collie, etc.) participate in competitions, but access is open to all breeds. What characteristics should a dog have? Strong responsiveness, focus, agility, endurance, dog handler consistency, and excellent communication skills – if your dog has these qualities, then you can safely take part in competitions.

Herding Trials

Herding Trials

Many breeds of dogs have been specially bred to graze a herd, especially in the mountains. Such dogs are hardy, independent, and immune to cold. They are preserved in modern dogs. Therefore, it soon became one of the new types of sports for dogs. Nowadays, dogs are less and less likely to live on farms, and more often in apartments and private houses, so the opportunity to prove themselves in competitions is a joy for pets. During the competition, the trainers give orders, and the dogs must follow them immediately. If you think your dog might have a talent for this sport, develop it.



It is a sport developed based on an assessment test for dogs used for police work. Schutzhund is a demanding job that requires testing several characteristics, including a dog’s olfactory ability, agility, strength, obedience, stamina, and protective instincts.

The most suitable are dogs with the following characteristics:

  • Courage and protective instinct;
  • Excellent sense of smell, hearing, and vision;
  • Ability to follow orders and instructions;
  • Strong motivation.

Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience

Rally Obedience is one of the best dog sports. Your dog must have obedience skills in order to compete because it is not physical strength that is important here, but the correct execution of commands. Then, they must continue to follow the dog handler and thus pass the track quickly and with the least amount of penalty points. A dog of any breed can take part in competitions, and the main thing is to know all the commands and not be distracted from their implementation. Physical activity is an important part of life for a healthy dog. Therefore, it is a great idea to organize competitions for dogs in different sports. If your region does not hold them in the near future, we have an interesting idea for you. Agree with one of the dog parks, find people willing to participate, and organize a competition. Of course, your pets would not receive awards from the AKC, but you can come up with tasty and healthy prizes. Local dog handlers can be called judges. If you are inspired by this idea, then be sure to post some photos of the competition and mark our Instagram –!

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