Other Dog Activities

Other Fun Activities

Dog agility isn't the only game in town. There are lots of activities to try and you may want to pursue some further than others. In general, it's best to find some other people who are already competing or have experience in these areas to help you get started. These folks can be so helpful! If you have a dog of unknown heritage, i.e. a mixed breed, mongrel, or mutt, or you're just curious, you should check out the Mixed Breed Dog Club of America. Their regional clubs like the Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club are a gateway to many of the activities listed below.

Let's take a look at some of the other activities Emma and I have tried.

Herding

Most dogs show at least a little instinct for herding. Some may chase, others stalk and circle widely. Either way, you should try it. Emma is no expert at herding, but she does enjoy herself. Herding is a bit more obscure than agility and obedience, but there's probably a place not too far from where you live where your dog can give it a try. We just herd for fun and really don't have a lot of time to do it. When we do, we join Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club members at Ewetopia. It's so much fun. The folks at Ewetopia are very open and willing to work with any breed or mixed breed dog. Emma and I go there maybe once per year, but they always treat us like Emma could be the next, best herding dog (if I just gave it some more time). I don't know too much about herding, but be sure you take your dog to a farm where you feel comfortable with the environment and their training techniques.

Lure Coursing

Lure Coursing is yet another extreme sport for dogs. Competitions allow only sight hounds, but many practice sessions allow any dogs to give it a try. Emma loves lure coursing. It's the only activity we've tried where she was practically jumping out of her skin she was so excited. Sadly, to avoid injury (now that she's older), we do not do lure coursing. Dogs that become very intense about chasing the lure must be checked carefully before and after lure coursing. Make sure to warm them up and down. It's just too easy for the dogs to injure themselves running at such high speeds.

Obedience

Looking for something a bit slower yet still a challenge? Try competitive obedience. If you find the right trainer (i.e. focuses on using lots of positive reinforcement), your dog can really enjoy the intracacies of obedience. Some dogs and their owners excel at obedience and enjoy the delicate details of becoming a truly competitive obedience team. Emma and I are going to give it a try this summer! We're very excited and I'll be sure to report here how it went. Hopefully, I'll know of some good obedience web sites by then too. I'll let you know!

And Even More...

The list of activities to try with your dog is practically endless. Here are some other activities to try:
  • Flyball
  • Hiking
  • Off Leash Parks
  • Trick Classes

There are many web sites out there and here some of the more useful ones, especially if you live in the Northwest or Washington.

Other Activities

Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club

The Dogpatch

Shelters

Seattle Animal Shelter

The Humane Society for Seattle/King County

PAWS