dog running and jumping hurdlesDo you have an energetic dog? Here are 7 types of dog sports that you can do with your dog. Dog sports will provide physical and mental activities for your dog to release their energy.

Dog sports require that dogs and humans work together, therefore strengthening the human and dog bond.

If you are just beginning any type of dog sports, take your dog to your veterinarian for an exam before you begin to be sure your dog is healthy.

Which Dogs Can Participate?

Any healthy dog can participate in dog sports, even though competitions are for high energy dogs that will push to their limits. Participation does not have to be a competition.

Types of Dog Sports


Agility is a competitive dog sport where you dog will have to run, jump, go through tunnels and navigate walkways. It is a great way to provide mental and physical exercise for a high energy dog.

Agility courses can be adjusted in size to accommodate different size dogs, from small to large dogs. Because you will guide your dog throughout the course, you and your dog will work as a team.

Agility is good for many types of dogs, including most purebred and mixed breed dogs, large and small. Adjustments to an agility course can alter it for smaller dogs and senior dogs. Click here to learn more about agility.


Flyball is a type of doggie relay race where a team of four dogs must jump over a series of hurdles to get to a box. Then they will step on the box and grab the tennis ball with their mouth and run back across the hurdles with the ball as fast as they can.

The four dogs will run and jump the hurdles to get the ball and bring it back, one at a time. One dog must return with the ball before the next dog can begin. Flyball is a great way to spend time with and meet other dogs and dog owners.

Dock Jumping or Diving

In dock jumping, dogs will run and jump from a dock into water, trying to achieve the greatest distance or height.

The length of a dog’s jump is measured to the point where the base of the tail enters the water. Some jumps are measured on the height of the jump, how high a dog jumps.

Large retrievers enjoy dock jumping, especially Labrador retrievers, Golden retrievers and Chesapeake Bay retrievers. Many mixed breeds and breeds that love water enjoy dock jumping also.

Canine Freestyle

Canine freestyle is basically, dancing with your dog. It’s a choreographed musical performance that you and your dog perform moving together with the music.

Dogs must be excellent at commands and know many different commands for the different movements that will be in the dance. Dogs of any size can enjoy canine freestyle.

Earthdog Trials

During earthdog trials, dogs will go through an underground tunnel or den looking for a rat in a dog-proof cage at the end. Typically earthdog trials are non-competitive.

Earthdog trials are for smaller breeds that like to dig and burrow such as Terriers and Dachshunds.

Herding Trials

Herding events allow herding dogs to follow their natural instincts and herd livestock. This dog sport requires your dog to gather livestock and lead them to a specific location.

Herding and working dogs can enjoy herding events especially Sheepdogs, Cattledogs, German Shepherds and Collies.

dog with flying disc in mouth runningFlying Disc

As with agility, flying disc competitions require you and your dog to work as a team. You will throw a flying disc and your dog will run and catch it.

You will have to be able to accurately throw a flying disc as well as your dog must be able to run and catch it.

Flying disc is for dogs that love to fetch and jump. Of course they must be big enough to catch the flying disc, excluding most toy breeds. This is not for the lazy dog or the one who losses interest quickly.

As you can see, dog sports can include dogs of all sizes such as agility courses that can be adjusted for the size of the dog. Dog sports are a great way to release your dog’s mental and physical energy.

Do you and your dog participate in dog sports? Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.