What Are Dog Sports?

Dog Sports are, in the dog’s view, games you engage in with your dog. Many compete in Dog Sport Trials, others do it for the engagement and bond with their dog. Dog Sports can be great exercise. And it just might be one of the most personally rewarding endeavors of your life.

Something special happens between owners and their dogs when they train for an event. As you and your dog develop the skills necessary for each sport – and then demonstrate what you’ve learned – you experience a sense of accomplishment like no other. With your dog beside you at each turn, you become a true team in every sense of the word.

Participating in canine sports is often not just about winning ribbons or trophies, either (although a healthy competitive spirit doesn’t hurt). Most dog owners say it’s the many personal rewards that keep them coming back event after event. And, we often hear that the friendships with other dog owners that are developed at these events are as important as the events themselves.

Find the Right Sport—

There are many canine sports to choose from, and many people participate in more than one. Anything’s PAWSable offers a variety to chose from, keeping in mind what is most available in our area. But when you’re just starting out, it can be hard to decide which one to try first. Start by assessing your dog’s appearance, health and temperament:

  • Think your dog is quite a looker, and a perfect example of his breed? Try showing your dog in Conformation.
  • Is he highly energetic? Does he enjoy running and responding to instruction? If so, Agility could be a great fit.
  • Has your dog mastered basic cues such as sit, stay and heel — and seems eager to learn more? Try Obedience.
  • Does your dog like doing obedience work in a low stress environment? Have you never competed before? Rally is a great place to start.
  • Does your dog have an instinct to chase? Is he speedy? Try training for the Coursing Ability Test.
  • Will your dog follow a scent no matter where it may lead? Does he work well independently? Try Tracking.
  • Is your dog a scent sleuth? Can he find his food or toys by smell alone? Try AKC Scent Work.
  • Think your dog has a natural instinct for herding livestock? Yes, there is a sport for that too: Herding
  • Do you have a small Terrier or Dachshund? Have the vermin in your yard met their match? Earthdog tests might be for you.
  • Is your dog a sighthound? (Afghan Hounds, Basenjis, Borzois, Greyhounds, Ibizan Hounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, and Whippets)? Does he turn into an Energizer bunny when something small moves fast on the ground? Lure Coursing may be his speed.
  • Is your dog a Pointing Breed, Spaniel, Retriever or Hound? Explore the rich tradition of Field Events.

There are many reasons to put in the time and resources necessary to earn recognition of your dog’s abilities: You might do it to show off his superior abilities; or you might do it for the personal satisfaction that comes from hard work. Or both. Regardless, achieving a goal you’ve set out to do is something to be very proud of, and why Anything’s PAWSable offers many titling programs for dog owners to have their dog’s accomplishment recognized by The American Kennel Club. Anything’s PAWSAble offers the following Dog Sports Classes:


The Sport of Purebred Dogs


A timed obstacle course for the dog consisting of jump, tunnels, climbing, etc


Precision heeling, sits, downs, stays, retrieves, and more- both on and off leash


A low stress obedience-style competition and a great place for beginners to start

Why Hire a Certified Positive Reinforcement Trainer

Why Hire a Certified Positive Reinforcement Trainer?
The professional dog training industry is widely unregulated. This means anyone can jump in and call themselves a dog trainer without having actually studied training methods and their effects, canine psychology and the science of how learning in the animal’s brain actually takes place. More than being ineffective, an uneducated “dog trainer” can inflict irreparable damage to a dog’s behavior & trust of humans. When hiring a dog trainer with certifications, you’re getting peace of mind knowing they’ve been vetted by an objective, third-party certifying body such as the CCPDT. Additionally, dog trainers who want to keep their accreditations must regularly attend continuing education workshops & education events to stay up-to-speed with science-based modern dog training techniques.