Dog Sports

by Greg Hollen

There are many different activities you can do with your dog. From obedience competition to earth dog trials to Schutzhund. All have different requirements and different organizations have different requirements. The American Kennel Club is allowing purebred and mixed breed dogs to participate in their competitions while the United Kennel Club continues to allow limited registration and participating in all of their sports by mix-breed dogs.

Schutzhund competition is open to any dog able to perform the required tasks. Schutzhund is a German sport consisting of three phases: Obedience, tracking and protection. Fly ball ( a relay race) is a fast paced sport as is lure coursing for sight hounds (i.e. whippets, greyhounds, salukis, etc). Tracking is another sport geared towards using a dog’s unique scenting ability to find a trail and follow it.

Dog World magazine and Dog Fancy magazine always have listings for many types of competitions. If you are on line, go to and you can follow the links to The American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club for more information.

There are clubs for herding, weight pulling, coon hunting, field trials for spaniels, pointers, agility, obedience, conformation, tracking, schutzhund, earth dog, terrier trial, retriever and just about any club you would want. This short list hasn’t covered the breed specific clubs that will hold trials for what the breed was originally used for.

The Australian Shepherd club holds herding trials while the West Highland White Terrier club will hold earth dog trials. The different sports available for you and your dog are widely varied. Finding a sport that suits your dog’s personality and temperament will help your dog be a better companion and fulfill the desires and drive that has been instilled in your dog through of years of breeding. Good luck in the dog sport world.