8 common dog sports

Posted on October 08 2018

8 common dog sports

Whatever their breed or size, all dogs can engage in canine sports. These are very varied, which allows each animal to find an activity adapted to its morphology and its capabilities.

The dog sports develop and diversify continuously. More and more associations and structures propose to organize, supervise and promote these activities which bring a lot of benefits to the dogs themselves and their masters.

Animals spend themselves, have fun, meet their peers and thrive thanks to the different games that make up these events. At the same time, their complicity and their links with teachers are reinforced. Finally, dog sports complement and optimize dog training and socialization .


Agility consists of offering the dog an obstacle course that he must cross as quickly as possible. During this type of test, the animal must negotiate a series of elements that follow one another. It can be ramps, single or double hurdles (Oxer), rigid or flexible tunnels, poles (slalom races), tires, viaducts (or walls) or swings. The goal is to solicit the dog's abilities in speed , flexibility and coordination .

The Canicross

Also called canicourse, the Canicross consists of running with the dog, which is connected to his master through a lanyard .

The pair makes a route drawn in advance on a variety of terrain types more or less uneven: forest trails, country roads, fitness trails, etc. The distances are also very variable, generally ranging from 1.5 to 9 km depending on the configuration of the course, the physical abilities of the dog and those of his master.

The Canicyclocross is a cycling variant of Canicross: it is practiced, not on foot, but on mountain bikes .

For these two disciplines, the dog is always in front of his master. The extendable lanyard, a little longer in Canicyclocross (2.5 m instead of 2 m), is a mandatory equipment because the dog must always be connected to the rider. Ditto for the harness , which offers more freedom of movement and comfort to the animal. As for the master, he wears a harness or a belt to attach to the lanyard.

Field Trial

This discipline is mainly for stop dogs . It aims to compare the natural qualities of different breeds of Spaniels  : the nose, pace, determination, endurance and possibly the relationship.
The dogs' performance allows, in passing, to detect the subjects that can be used as breeders to provide gifted hunting lines.


It consists, for the dog, to realize a rectilinear course consisting of 4 hurdles and at the end of which is a box . The latter has a half-out ball . The animal must cover the distance at full speed by crossing the hurdles, recover the ball and return in the opposite direction to join his master on the starting line. The Flyball can be done singles or relay  : in this case, several dogs take turns, the departure of each being triggered by the arrival of the previous.

The Frisbee Dog

It goes from the simple frisbee throw , which the dog must simply recover, to the most complex figures.
The master can thus throw the disc away or around him, inviting the dog to catch him in full flight. These actions are often accompanied by acrobatics , giving rise to extremely spectacular performances and real choreographies where the dog and his master act in perfect harmony.

The Ring

The Ring brings together a series of obedience and bite tests to assess the dog 's ability to be mastered in both areas.

It is therefore an evaluation of the dressage which is carried out, with a ranking established thanks to the points awarded by the judges. These note the performance of the dog on relaxation exercises (following foot on leash or muzzled, report ...), jumping (palisade, hedge ...) and biting (defense of the master, face attack, fledging attack ...) .

The highest level of this discipline, the Ring 3 , is a preselection for the championships of France.

Racing and pursuit at sight on lure

It is especially the Greyhounds who indulge in it. These breeds are indeed cut for the race and reach impressive speeds .
These velocity tests are practiced on cynodromes , these turf tracks or in sand on which 8 dogs run behind a lure . It is therefore the first to cross the finish line who is the winner of the race.

The sled

The driver, or musher , stands on a sled drawn by a team of Nordic dogs. These are usually Huskies and Malamutes .

The competitions often take the form of raids covering very large distances.

The Pulka is a variant of the Sled: it is practiced with a smaller and lighter sled, called Pulka, and the team consists of only one or two dogs. The driver evolves, in turn, alpine hiking, Nordic ski touring or snowshoeing.

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