By Adam Lee-Smith
Published: 08/06/2021, edited: 08/18/2022
It's hard not to get carried away when watching the Olympics. From dancing horses in dressage to mindblowing tricks in skateboarding, the Olympics has captured imaginations across the world.
If you fancy getting involved, why not set up a few Olympic events for your canine companion? Here's how to set up a dog-friendly Olympics at home!
Setting up events for your doggo may seem like lots of work, so you might be thinking to yourself, "What's the point?"
There are also few better ways to hone your pupper's training than with a dog-friendly Olympic event! You'll be able to practice commands like "come" and "jump" in new and exciting situations to ensure your pup is prepared for any scenario.
Setting up obstacle courses and events for your "Olympup" is a great way to keep them in shape. They'll get plenty of exercise and find the events mentally stimulating, which will keep them happy and reduce the risk of anxiety and stress due to boredom.
There are a few things to consider when setting up an at-home Olympics for your dog. As well as making sure your doggo is having a "woofderful" time, you'll want to make sure your makeshift courses are safe for your four-legged friend.
For example, if you're setting up hurdles for your doggo, make sure they're not too high and that they fall over easily; otherwise, your pup may hurt themselves mid-jump.
Avoid setting up obstacles with sharp edges, and make sure anything your pup has to stand on is sturdy and won't collapse. You should also consider your dog's age and adjust the difficulty of any obstacles depending on their ability.
You'll want to pick up a pack of Baxter's favorite treats to help motivate them to complete certain obstacles. Just don't give your doggo too many treats, as they might get sick during a gold medal race!
After all the events are completed, you might want to set up a little podium so you crown a doggy Olympics champion — the "pawfect" photo opportunity.
Searching for a few ideas for dog-friendly Olympic events? Here are a few ideas your doggo is sure to love!
By far the easiest event to set up for your pup is a sprint. The chances are your living room or yard (if you have one) won't be 100 meters long, so work with the space you have.
Set up lanes for your dogs so that they won't get in each other's way. Then, have their pet parents stand at the far end of the course and call them over, using their favorite treats as motivation. Make sure you have stopwatches handy so you can record the times to see who's champion!
If you're lucky enough to have a swimming pool and you don't mind your mutt taking a dip, you can set up a new swimming stroke event: the 100m doggy paddle!
Similar to the 100m sprint, you'll want your pups to race to the other end of the pool and record their best times. Call them from the far end, or place their favorite treat for encouragement. Of course, ensure your pup is a strong swimmer, as some dogs can't swim!
If you have a bouncy Border Collie or Belgian Malinois, they might relish Olympic events like hurdling and high jump! For hurdling, you can try adding a few low hurdles to your 100m sprint course for an extra event for your doggy Olympics.
High jump is another fun event to set up for your doggos. Encourage your pupper to jump over a bar, and gradually raise it until your pup knocks it over. Then, record the end height they managed.
Ensure any hurdle or high jump bar you set up is easily knocked over and won't hurt your woofer. If your dog seems hesitant, complete the course by their side for some extra bonding time!
Do you and your friends love showing off their pup's tricks? Then try your hand at doggy dressage! This event is similar to horse dressage or floor gymnastics.
Get together a few impartial friends as judges, and give each canine competitor and their pet parent 60 seconds to perform as many amazing tricks as "pawssible". Or, set out a specific routine each pup has to follow and see who follows it the closest. Get each judge to rate the routines out of 100, and see which pup comes out on top!
Perhaps the event you and your pup will love the most is a traditional obstacle course. Set up some tunnels, hoops, and ramps for your pup to tackle, and see who can complete the course the quickest. Obstacle courses are also ideal for improving your dog's training, especially if you take them to agility classes.
Another unique event you could try with your pups is a long command competition. Getting a dog to "stay", "sit", or "lie down" for an extended period is tricky, and testing which "Olympup" can hold these commands for the longest makes an easy event that requires minimal setup.
Time how long each pup performs "sit" and "lie down", and measure how far you step back from your hound while they're executing the "stay" command. Create a leaderboard with the best times and longest distances — the best score wins gold!
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