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Sports for Humans and Dogs

For those of you who have been wondering what can be done to strengthen the human-dog bond, this month’s issue, Bay Woof’s canine sports issue, is full of ideas.

First, have you considered Splash Dogs? Tony Reed started this dock-diving outfit as a fun activity for his black Lab, Sierra, to appease her appetite for swimming, retrieving, and jumping. Participating dog breeds cover all types, and there’s a new division now just for seniors. Some of these dogs can really soar.

Or what about Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate? Steve Teer makes it sound simple, fun, and friendly, and wants you to bring your furry friend—especially that energetic guy or gal that’s never tired no matter how much exercise he or she gets—to the club’s next disc dog event. He guarantees your feisty fur ball will sleep well, very well.

OK, maybe your prima donna princess isn’t that active and won’t take to the first two athletic-oriented options. Steer her toward K9 Nose Work where she can use her sniffer to do what comes naturally: smelling stuff. Laurel Scarioni of Pawsitive Results shares how nose work is done, stressing the team-building aspect of the sport.

And then it’s on to Barn Hunt with David Levin of Citizen Hound who explains the general ins and outs of this new and popular sport that pairs handlers and dogs in hay bale mazes on the hunt for live rats encased in protective tubes.

There are many other dog sports out there, of course, from Treibball and agility to flyball racing and dog parkour, not to mention field trials, French ring, hurdles, mushing, lure coursing, and freestyle. Most of us stick to walking and hiking or ball throwing with our constant companions. What are you doing with your mutt? Bay Woof wants to know.