Celebrating the Athleticism of Dogs
The Opening Ceremony for the 2021 Summer Olympics is just around the corner. We can’t wait to cheer for these amazing athletes and see new records set. In honor of the Olympics, we wanted to share the incredible athleticism of dogs.
The dog sporting event industry is a big one! There are many different types of dog sports that people can participate in with their dogs, and the participation is increasing steadily. Sports differ on the athleticism and training necessary, and there are different levels for each based on things like size and experience. Here are some of the different dog sports and brief descriptions – you may not have heard of them all!
- Flyball – a combo of hurdles and retrieving a ball for time.
- Agility – dogs go through an obstacle course for time.
- Treibbal – a mock herding sport where dogs must herd large, rubber balls into a goal.
- Barn Hunt – a mock hunt where dogs sniff out rats safely hidden in tubes within a haybale maze.
- Canicross – cross-country running with your dog (typically using a waist harness).
- Dock Diving – dogs jump into the water to fetch an item, and the goal is to jump the farthest.
- Fast CAT – a timed, 100-yard sprint with the dog chasing a lure.
- Lure Coursing – dogs chase a faux rabbit on a mechanical line for points.
- Disc Dog – throw as many discs as you can in the allotted time for your dog to catch – points are awarded for how human/dog pairs work together, how many discs are caught, and athleticism.
- Canine Freestyle – a choreographed performance with your dog to music.
- Sled dog racing – dogs compete as a team and pull a sled with their handler through a course.
- Schutzhund – dogs are judged in protection, obedience, and tracking phases for points.
Some of these sports can be done on a “for fun” basis at home or through a training class, so even if you are not into competing, you may consider checking out one of these sports just to have fun with your pup.
Not only do dogs have their own sports to participate in, but they also have some amazing records of their athleticism. Check out some of these records held by different breeds and specific dogs all around the world.
- Greyhounds are the fastest domestic dogs – can reach speeds of 45 mph (Usain Bolt achieved a top running speed of nearly 28 mph)
- Highest jump by a dog is 75.5in (over 6 feet!) – by Feather, a Greyhound from Frederick MD
- Most tennis balls held in the mouth – 5 tennis balls, record held by Augie a Golden Retriever from Dallas, TX
- Most balls caught by a dog with the paws in 1 minute – 14 balls, record held by Purin a Beagle from Japan
- Fastest 30m on a scooter by a dog – 20.77 seconds, held by Norman a Briard from Canton, GA
- Longest wave surfed by a dog – 351.7 ft by Abbie Girl, a kelpie from San Diego, CA
- Longest jump – 32.25 feet by Vhoebe, a Belgian Malinois
- Fastest 100 m with a can on top of the head (wow!) – Sweet Pea, an Australian shepherd/Border collie mix.
- And…a group effort and record by Japan’s Super Wan Wan Circus with the record of 13 dogs successfully jumping rope together!