Golden Retrievers are an energetic and active breed that performs extremely well at sports and canine activities. Goldens require daily exercise and mental stimulation. The Golden Retriever is also a very intelligent dog that loves to be given tasks to do. Dog sports are a great way to give your Golden Retriever both exercise and mental simulation.
Best Sports For Golden Retrievers
Because the Golden Retriever is very intelligent and easy to please, it will respond well to any form of training. Below are some of the best dog sports a Golden Retriever can participate in.
- Flyball – Flyball is a sport in which teams of dogs, consisting of four dogs each, race against each other over hurdles to a box that releases a tennis ball when the dog presses the spring pad. The dog has to catch the ball and carry it to its handler.
- Agility – Agility comes naturally to the Golden Retriever. In dog agility the handling and training of dogs are put to the test. It requires a connection between the dog and its handler. The dog needs to heed its trainer’s command by decoding his body language. The courses usually have between 14 to 20 obstacles. These include weave pools, seesaws, tunnels, tire jumps, and pause tables.
- Dock Diving – Dock Diving is a fun sport. You take your dog’s favorite toy and throw it in a pool of water as your dog waits on a 40-foot dock. When given the command, your dog runs and jumps in the water and grabs the toy. The dog that has the longest jump is the winner.
- Canine Freestyle – Canine Freestyle is teaching your dog to dance. It is choreographed trick training set to music. The goal is to be creative. Handlers can pick their own music, designing a routine based on their dog’s strengths and using verbal encouragement.
- Disc Dog Course – Flying disc is one of the easiest dog challenge events. Many dogs are motivated to catch flying discs. In a flying disc event, a dog/handler team performs a routine of tosses, catches, stunts and tricks. The dog can earn bonus points by catching two long throws from the handler. Judges award teams points on the dog’s and handler‘s skills. The team with the most catches wins the challenge.
- Field Trials – Retriever Field Trials measure how well a Retriever can retrieve in the field at longer distances than in a hunt. Judges look at the dog’s natural abilities such as marking a fall, memory, intelligence, attention, style, courage and perseverance. They examine the dog’s proficiency in steadiness, control, response to direction and delivery of bird. The dog and handler must work together. The Field Champion designation is the ultimate accomplishment.
- Lure Coursing – Lure Coursing is a sport for dogs that involves chasing a mechanically operated lure. In lure coursing, dogs chase an artificial lure across a field following a pattern meant to simulate live lure. The course must have a number of turns to simulate chasing prey.
- Skijoring – Skijoring is a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a dog. The challenge is for the handler to stay on the skis as the dog pulls him.
- Bikiejoring – Bikejoring is a sport in which your dog is running in front of his handler pulling him while he are riding a bike. This is great exercise for the handler and the dog.
- Retrieving Trials – Retrieving Trial is a competition for the working of Gundogs, both on land and in or through water, to determine their merits in the field under conditions which are as close as possible to those that would be found while hunting. The Retriever should sit quietly with its handler or assume any station designated by the handler. The dog should retrieve quickly when ordered and deliver gently to the handler. Accurate marking or memory of fall is most important.
Benefits For Your Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers need to have their minds stimulated to prevent boredom. A great source of stimulation is participating in sports. Participating in sports is also great physical exercise. If you are training your dog yourself, it gives you the opportunity to spend time and bond with your dog.
Many younger Golden Retrievers need more than just daily walks to work off energy. Training for a sport will also reinforce your Golden’s obedience.
Keeping your Golden Retriever healthy doesn’t only mean a healthy diet and a safe and loving home. Your Golden also needs plenty of physical and mental exercise. When you train your Golden Retriever to participate in sports, you are giving your dog both a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation.
Which Sport Would You Like
The bonding experience would be wonderful for both you and your dog.