From chasing balls to sniffing out the tiniest morsel of food to displaying A+ behavior, every dog has his or her talent. Organized dog sports are designed to showcase the unique skills and instinctive drive of canines. They’re fun for humans, too.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) holds a number of such events.
“There are three main categories of AKC events: conformation, performance and companion,” says Gina DiNardo, AKC vice president. “Conformation and performance events are based on the standards and historical functions of breeds, and therefore are limited to purebreds.” Dog shows, field tests and trials fall into these two categories.
Companion events are open to dogs of any breed, as well as mixed breeds.
“These are designed so any dog and person of any age can show off their athletic abilities, and demonstrate the bond that can develop between a well-trained dog and its owner,” says DiNardo, citing examples such as Obedience, Rally, Tracking, Dock Diving and Agility.
Check out this list to see what appeals to you and your pup.