Intro to Dog Sports

Over the next few weeks and months, we will be posting a special series on healthy dog sports. These posts have been written by Amy Hendrickson who is an active participant in the local dog sporting world.

Intro to Dog Sports

So, you have a new puppy (or new adult dog) and you have suddenly realized that your dog has more energy than you originally anticipated. Or, you have decided that you want to do more with your dog. Do more and Be more to and with your dog. There are so many options out there when considering activities to do with your dog. For the purpose of this series of articles we will concentrate on dog sports that have training classes around the Richmond, VA area. With dog sports there is always the opportunity to compete with your dog once you have picked up basic skills.

Things to consider:
1. Time: How much time will you have available for training? Training classes are offered generally on a once a week to several times a week basis. Some training programs offer weekend classes (some intro agility and some tracking) but most of them will require evenings between Mondays and Fridays.
2. Cost: How much money do you have available for training classes? Most classes in the Richmond area are about 110-125.00 for 6 to 8 weeks of training classes regardless of the discipline you choose. It generally takes about a year to pick up enough of a skill to begin competition in most sports. So that can help you build a budget. Also, you don’t have to take classes straight through if finances are a concern. Dogs, like children, sometimes benefit from a break from classes.
3. Distance: How far are you willing to travel for classes and/or competition? There are dog training facilities in several areas of Richmond and a quick google search will help you find obedience programs and group classes in each of the disciplines you might be interested. Find out how far you are willing to travel and that may help you decide the right sport for you and your dog.

So what’s out there in the Richmond area?

• Agility
• Flyball
• Nosework
• Obedience training
• Rally obedience
• Tracking

Some others that are within an hour or two from Richmond
• Herding or stock dog/ Sheepdog trials
• Lure coursing
• Barn Hunt
• Earthdog trials

Some others that you can get involved on your own or by attending a competition and asking for advice
• Disc dog