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Get Active with Your Pup! Try 5 Lesser-Known Dog Sports

lesser known dog sports
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Are you tired of playing the same games with your dog repeatedly? Dogs love routine, and they want to perform things they know. But they also love a good challenge. If you own a working dog, sticking to the same dog sport can become boring for your pup. Today, I want to introduce you to some lesser known dog sports.

And I guarantee your dog will love it. Now, I have not tried all of them myself. But as I have a hyperactive dog that loves trying new challenges, I am always exploring and finding new ways to entertain him.

So, I want to share with you some of my findings about some amazing dog sports. Let’s check them out.

Dock Diving

Or you can call it canine splashdown. The good news is this comes naturally to most dogs. If you own a Labrador Retriever or a Golden Retriever, you know it. Have you ever been with your pup on holiday, and he jumped instantly after you in the water?

Well, that instinct is what helps puppies in dock diving. It is a sport where dogs blast off a dock and soar through the air in a spectacular display of athleticism and joy. The thrilling competition brings out the best of canine athletes. They need to compete for distance or height jumps into a pool of water.

How does it work?

  • Dogs take a running leap off a specially designed dog. They are propelled by their momentum, and of course, some enthusiasm. Judges then measure the distance or height of the jump. A canine that reaches the farthest or highest leap wins the competition

Why should you try it?

For one simple reason. Many dogs love water. And there is no better way to tire out an active dog. Get him swimming. Once your dog jumps into the water, he needs to swim to get out. And you can be as creative as you want. Of course, safety is paramount. Make sure your dog is comfortable with water before jumping in!

Treibball – Herding Dog Sport

You can say this is a sport designed for herding breeds. But I think every dog can try it. Heck, Milo is a Jack Russell, and he loves giant balls. The sport brings a unique and exciting way to channel a herding dog’s instinct.

ACD Silverbarns Mayumi

How does it work?

  • Dogs have to use their herding instinct to bring massive balls into a specific goal. Think of it like a giant game of fetch. The handler guides the dog using voice commands and body language. The more efficient and accurate your dog is, the more points you win

Why should you try it?

Treibball provides both mental stimulation and physical activity for dogs. You do not have to be a professional to enjoy it. Milo loves playing with large balls. And when we tried this one, he went CRAZYYYYY!

Bonus points because your dog learns obedience skills, impulse control, and problem-solving abilities. If you want to add more challenges, add some roadblocks to the goal. Make it harder for your pup to bring the giant inflatable ball to the goal.

Fit Dog Trials

If you have a canine athlete, this is the sport for you. It is an improved and more challenging version of agility trials. These trials benefit adventurous pups who love a challenge and put their brain to work.

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The agility course on steroids contains tunnels, jumps, weaves, balance beams, and many more challenges that will test your dog’s athleticism. Yet, at the same time, it helps your dog improve problem-solving skills.

How does it work?

  • You and your dog start a race against the clock. As the dog’s handler, you have to navigate the course with speed and accuracy. For any missed obstacle, you lose a point. You also lose points for taking too long to complete the course.

Why should you try it?

There are few better ways to improve your dog’s fitness and body look. These courses build confidence as your dog gets better at it. I love to combine training with fun games, and the fit dog trials are the way to go.

The good news is that you can find some amateur versions at the dog park. Or you can make one at home in your backyard. There are plenty of products you can find online to create your course.

Rally Obedience

Now this is where your connection and relationship with your puppy matters. This sport challenges the teamwork and the bond you have with your puppy. Rally obedience adds an interactive twist to traditional obedience training.

If you have a dog that loves learning tricks, try it. I love it. It creates a less formal setting for working with your pup.

How does it work?

  • There are several numbered signs with instructions for various commands. During the obedience course, you navigate through commands like sit, stay, or heel. But those are just the beginning. As you get better at it, there are plenty of complex commands. Judges award points for accuracy and teamwork.

Why should you try it?

Simply, it puts a fun twist on obedience training. It is a low-pressure way to teach your dog some commands, all while working on your bond and relationship. Rally obedience is an amazing confidence boost and activity for puppies. Do not sleep on it!


We finish off with the so-called “canine relay race”. It is a fast-paced relay race yet with pooches instead of athletes. The high-energy sport will test your dog’s speed, focus, and teamwork.

English Cocker Spaniel participating in Flyball
English Cocker Spaniel participating in Flyball.

How does it work?

  • We start with teams of four dogs that race against each other on a parallel course with hurdles. Each dog has to jump the hurdles, retrieve a tennis ball, return over the hurdles, and drop the ball into a designated container. Then, the dog tags the next teammate. Now, at home, you do not have to have four dogs. You can play with your puppy. The goal is to increase the speed and have your dog play in a fun way.

Why should you try it?

There are few better ways to burn excess energy and channel it into a positive activity. Flyball brings socialization skills. Yet, with a solo pet, it is all about burning that energy. You put your dog through tests and challenges to make fetch more interesting.

If you want to get started with professional courses, check local kennel clubs that offer flyball classes.

lesser known dog sports infographic

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