Activities For Competitive Dogs

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Introduction

Competitive dogs love the thrill, the adrenaline, the shining glory of outdoing all the other dogs at pretty much anything. It could be a legitimate competition, it could be a simple game, it doesn't really matter to them. And watching that is amazing. Their eyes light up with joy, their tails wag like crazy and their energy levels rise high with the anticipation of victory! So, what can you do to further fuel that? Which activities help that drive? Let's find out.

Flag Football

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Football
Plastic flags
Activity description
Flag football is very much just your average game of football, but everyone wears a flag or two around their waists. You can also just use two small trash bags instead, if you're not looking to buy those special flags. It's fine, it works just the same! The idea is to play football, but instead of tackling other people, you pull off a flag. They're considered down once you pull off a flag. This would be a great activity to do with your dog, since there's a lot of running involved. Just make sure to assign them a team, and attach a little trash bag to the bottom of their harness or jacket. Not at the collar!
Step
1
Set up teams
Pick out people to have on your team with your dog, and let the other team select its people as well. Ensure that everyone is present and accounted for. Surely, everyone will want your dog on their team, so be prepared to laugh and tell them to bring their dogs next time!
Step
2
Prepare for action
Now that you've set up the teams, it's time to prepare for the game. Get dressed for a lot of running, attach those flags, make sure your dog is ready to go, and feel free to get some stretches in. It will help your body (and your dog's too) adjust to the sudden movement and exercise!
Step
3
Play for fun
And now it's time to play! You know how to play football already, right? Well it's the same concept, only no one is allowed to tackle. Just pull off at least one flag, and the person is considered down. Rules and objectives of the game can be varied as you and your friends decide. Official rules can be found online at your favorite flag football site.
Step
4
Have realistic expectations
While we are sure that your canine footballer will have a blast, be aware of their limitations and interest. If your pup appears to be fatiguing, take a time out for a water break and maybe a treat.
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Canicross

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Activity Tracker
Activity description
We've all heard of cross country running. But Canicross is better because it's exactly that, but with your dog. And your objective is to run a mile, then two, then three, and be just fine. Not only do you both burn a lot of calories, get fit, and get to bond together, you're also outdoors a lot. There are Canicross competitions to join where you can see which duo runs the fastest and gets to the finish line first. But frankly, with Canicross, you're your own competition already too. It's demanding on your body, so you're always challenging yourself to keep going!
Step
1
Prepare for the run
It's time to get an activity tracker that measures exactly how fit you are now, and how much you run. It's also time to get some exercise clothing that you know you can run in for an extended period of time. If your dog needs anything other than a leash, for example if it's cold out and a sweater would be nice, add that to the shopping list as well. The idea is to get everything you need now, and then focus all of your attention on the training.
Step
2
Do some interval training
Now it's time to go for a run. Obviously, if you're not very fit and you're very new to Canicross, it can be daunting, so start with a nice walk every single day. This will enable your pup to build up his stamina as well. Then build up that walk to a brisk walk, once you feel ready. Then a light jog, then actual running. Take your time, go at your own pace. Progress to the running once you feel ready. This could be minutes, days, weeks, or months, and that's okay. The idea is that as you and the dog get fit and used to the running, you progressively challenge yourselves harder and harder.
Step
3
Compete
Again, much like Agility, this is optional. You don't need to compete, since you're challenging yourselves every single day to get out there and get fit. However, if you want to compete to see how you both stack up against each other, feel free to check out which competitions are in your area. You can also check out Canicross USA for more information.
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Agility

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Affordable Agility Kit
Leash
Activity description
Agility is pretty much what everyone thinks about when you say the words "competitive dog." And there's a reason for that: agility tests your ability as a handler, and the dog's willingness to listen. The objective? To direct your dog through a series of obstacles. And the dog's mission? To do it all perfectly under a certain amount of time. These competitions involve several dogs all competing against each other, trying to do the course in the least amount of time possible. They win awards, some get featured on dog blogs and magazines, and some even win large baskets full of organic dog food and treats!
Step
1
Purchase supplies
Agility obstacles aren't exactly cheap, but they're also not an arm and a leg to buy. For a little over $200, you have everything you need, without including the treats and leash that you already have anyway. Now, you have the option of buying each individual piece of agility equipment, but that's not always necessary. You can build your course with a kit that comes with everything. Search online or ask fellow dog owners for their advice on buying or building the perfect obstacle course.
Step
2
Train your companion
This is where the fun really begins. You will have to direct your dog through the obstacles, using treats as an incentive. What some people do is snap on the leash first and tell the dog to run around in circles, getting the dog used to being commanded while running. Then they transition to the course, starting off slowly, teaching the dog how to overcome each obstacle. This obviously takes a lot of time, and widely depends on how well your dog listens. Let it be known now though: highly energetic dogs with a short attention span can be difficult to train for agility.
Step
3
Compete
Once you and your dog are ready and able, it's time to compete. Obviously, you don't have to, you can just do agility in the backyard for the sake of having fun together, but competing really is exciting. One of the most famous competitions is the one run by the American Kennel Club, but there are many others. Search for the nearest one near you, sign up, and compete for those organic treats!
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More Fun Ideas...

Get Fit With The Dog

This one is great for both you and your dog: use your competitive dog to drive you to fit glory. Get an activity tracker, hit the gym, go out running with the dog, play a ton of games where the dog chases you for a toy or treat, and eat healthy. Watch those pounds fall off. Soon, you'll be running like crazy, right alongside the dog!

Frisbee With The Friends

Try to get a weekend Frisbee thing going with some friends of yours. It's a fun way to connect on a weekly basis, includes your dog, gets some exercise in, and helps fuel your dog's competitive spirit. Chasing after a Frisbee that's being thrown around in every direction? Oh, yeah!

Conclusion

As you can see, competitive dogs enjoy anything that is very challenging and physically demanding. But they also enjoy being able to do sporty activities with people they know and love. If you have an energetic, competitive dog, expect to be inspired all the time! No more couch potato behavior!