Dog Sports-What is it?
In disc dog competitions, dogs and their humans compete in events such as distance Toss and Fetch and/or choreographed Freestyle catching. The sport celebrates the bond between handler and dog, by allowing them to work together. The term “disc” is preferred because “Frisbee” is a trademark for a brand of flying disc. Check out Hyperflite or Hero Disc for equipment. Check out Colorado Disc Dogs and Taos Disc Dog clubs for events in our area.
Flyball is a dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from a start/finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.
Flyball is run in teams of four dogs, as a relay. The course consists of four hurdles placed 10 feet apart from each other. The hurdle height is determined by the shoulder height of the smallest dog in the team. Under current North American Flyball Association (NAFA) rules this should be 5 inches below the withers height of the smallest dog, to a height of no less than 7 inches and no greater than 14 inches Each dog must return its ball all the way across the start line before the next dog crosses. Ideal running is nose-to-nose at the start line. The first team to have all four dogs cross the finish line error free wins the heat. Penalties are applied to teams if the ball is dropped or if the next relay dog is released early.
Check out: flyballdogs.com/enchantmutts/
Rally Obedience (also known as Rally or Rally-O) (from Wikipedia!)
Rally was originally devised by Charles L. “Bud” Kramer from the obedience practice of “doodling” – doing a variety of interesting warmup and freestyle exercises.
Unlike regular obedience, instead of waiting for the judge’s orders, the competitors proceed around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position. The course consists of 10 to 20 signs that instruct the team what to do. Unlike traditional obedience, handlers are allowed to encourage their dogs during the course.
There are currently five sanctioning bodies for Rally-O in the United States: the American Kennel Club (AKC); World Cynosport (formerly the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT)); Canine Work and Games (C-Wags;)and Canines and Humans United (CHU). The United Kennel Club (UKC) added rally obedience to their program as of January 2009.
In AKC Rally, which is open to AKC breeds and mixed breed dogs registered in the AKC Canine Partners program, the team starts with 100 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes. After qualifying three times under two different judges, the dog earns a title, which appears after the dog’s registered name. Each qualifying trial earned is known as a “leg.”
There are three levels in AKC Rally:
- Novice, the beginner’s class. The dog is on leash and there are 10 to 15 stations, the title is RN.
- Advanced, for dogs who have completed their novice title. Dogs are judged off leash, and the title is RA.
- Excellent, the highest class, for dogs who have earned their advanced title. 15 to 20 stations, including 2 jumps, are used in this class and the title is RE.
In World Cynosport Rally, which is open to any dog and handler, the team starts with 200 points, and the judge deducts points for mistakes and adds bonus points that can be earned for optional exercises. There are three levels and there are additional titles for multiple qualifications at various levels, and several championship levels. World Cynosport Rally varies in some respects in the performance of some of the exercises and has some exercises, such as a retrieve, not seen in AKC rally. The most obvious difference between the two is the ability to reward the dog with food in the ring under specific conditions in World Cynosport rally.
Agility is designed to demonstrate a dog’s willingness to work with its handler in a variety of situations. It is an athletic event that requires conditioning, concentration, training and teamwork. Different games may include obstacles such as tunnels, see-saw, jumps, hoops, A-frames, etc. The dog is taught to execute the obstacle safely and at the owners discretion. The handler learns a system of signals, directing the dog through a sequenced course in a timely fashion. Mostly we do agility for fun and comraderie! At competitive levels, there are several sanctioning associations offering fast paced fun for handlers and dogs.