Playing sports with dogs is an opportunity to consolidate the bond with them, and also keep yourself in good health!
The best sports to do with your dog must first be fun for both of you.
The ideal sport for your dog is the one best suited to its size, energy level and propensities.
Here is a list of some sports in which you and your four-legged friend, based on your physical preparation, can try their hand at:
DiscDog is undoubtedly one of the best sports to do with dogs. In this sport, the handler has to throw a flying disc (a sort of freebie) at his dog, which in turn has to be good and quick to catch it with his mouth.
DiscDog is suitable to all types of dog breeds and allows the dog-handler dyad to enjoy the outdoors and carry out a physical activity together, in the name of joy and imagination.
2. The triad: Canicross, bikejoring and dog scooter.
Canicross is a sport that was originally born as a form of training for Musher sled dogs outside of the winter season and then became a real sport.
In Canicross, the dog and the handler run while tied together by a rope no longer than 2 meters when tensed. The dog, instead of the traditional collar or harness, wears a special harness that allows him to pull the handler without causing physical damage from rubbing on the skin, nor interfering with breathing.
The handler, in turn, wears a belt equipped with elastic shock absorbers and quick release rope attachment, which is mandatory as it allows the dog to be released promptly in case of danger.
Handlers aged 7 and over can participate in this sport, while the minimum age for dogs is 12 months.
Bikejoring and Dog scooter
Bikejoring and dog scooters are activities in which the handler is, respectively, on a mountain bike or scooter. Both of these sports are suitable for dogs with a strong attitude to tow, such as the Alaskan malamute, the Siberian husky and the Samoyed. This is because they require the dog, harnessed with sled dog equipment, to run fast and pull the handler, to whom they are tied with a 2.5-meter-long amortised line in maximum extension, and equipped with a carabiner hook. Handlers are also required to make a certain effort: in fact, they must be physically very prepared and have the obligation to present a medical certificate for athletics, cycling or triathlon. To participate, dogs must be at least 15 months old, while the minimum age for the handler is 15 years.
3. DOG HUMAN FITNESS
Dog Human Fitness is becoming increasingly popular in the Italian city of Milan. That is a couple’s training activity for dogs and their owner, consisting of aerobic exercises and functional exercises related to the sphere of basic education, thanks to which the dog learns calm and self-control, thus acquiring the ability to live peacefully together with other dogs and people.
The activity is always carried out safely with dogs on a leash, equipped with a special harness, and supervised by Bruno Ferrari, the professional dog educator founder of Dog Human Fitness.
The training is aimed at adults between the ages of 18 and 80.
Federica Pirrone, Mariangela Albertini, Patrizia Piotti researchers at UNIMI Veterinaria