Why Compete in Dog Sports?

Dogs were bred to work with us in specific ways. But today dogs often find themselves without the work they were bred for.

Dog going through the weave poles during agility.
A dog going through the weave poles during an agility competition.

Instead, people now use dog sports to replace or replicate the original work we had for them.

Participating in dog sports is often an overlooked benefit for active owners. It’s a great way to do more with your pup.

Practice time helps strengthen the bond between you. Dogs are great at reading people. But this is a great chance for you to learn how to read your pet better.

You learn to communicate with each other in new ways.

And you become part of a community of great people who share your interests.

People of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, experiences, & interests can find ways to take part.

Rally and Obedience

Some sports, such as Rally and Obedience are great to strengthen and test the bond between the two of you.

Challenges include your team working through heeling patterns and around obstacles.

Your dog is also tested to find equipment that smells like you.

Other times they must follow verbal or non-verbal commands.


Agility tests your dog’s confidence and speed over a series of obstacles.

This sport is about the teamwork between you and your dog. Handlers lead their dogs through a course.

Inexperienced teams are allowed a few errors, but those who are skilled must be error-free.


Herding is a skill some dog breeds were specifically bred for. Ranchers and other people caring for livestock needed these companions to help move other animals.

It has become a sport showing a dog’s versatility in following a person’s commands by voice, hands or whistles.

Herding includes developing and showing the dog’s ability to move different types of animals.

Scent work

Scent work is another skill showing off dogs’ skills.

Anyone who owns dogs knows when their beloved pet smells food and other good things.

Noses go up, nostrils flair, the head turns as the dog searches the air. It finds its treat … hopefully, one you agreed they could have.

As a sport, scent work proves a dog’s ability to find specific smells.

Many jobs a dog was originally bred to do have a sports form. Herding and scent work are just two examples.

Other sports like Rally and Agility developed as a way for people to bond with their dogs and be in a community with other dog people.

It’s a reminder to us all of the long-standing friendship between our dogs and us.

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