Its Fit Dog Friday! Just in time for the weekend, some great ideas how to get moving:
Over 52% (or approximately 36.7 million) US Dogs Overweight or Obese- Join the Blog Hop below to help.
Why not try exciting fun ways to get active and spend time bonding with your dog like Agility and Flyball. Not only do these sports help burn off energy and calories and challenge the minds and bodies of your pet, you get a great metal and physical workout as well! They build strength, flexibility and endurance. Here’s what you need to know to get started:
Focussed on the course.
Dog Agility is a sport in which a handler directs a dog through a memorized obstacle course in a race and is judged on time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives, guided by the handler’s voice, movement, and body signals. The handler runs alongside. The course can include Jumps, Tunnels, Dog Walks, Chutes, A Frames, Teeters and Weave-poles to challenge your dog!
Flyball is a sport like agility, but involves multiple dogs racing. The dogs jump over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring-loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.
Smart natural athletes like Border Collies seem to really excel at these sports, but we have seen all different breeds from a tiny Chihuahua to a Boston Terrier to a Corgi to a Bernese Mountain Dog thoroughly enjoy themselves with their owners.
Head trainer Heather McLeod of RUFFSPORT guiding her dog Diesel through a course at the Red Barn Event Centre..
Become apart of your local dog sport community today! There are outdoor and indoor event and training spaces, so you can do these sports all year long.
Here are some amazing facilities and trainers we know of in Ontario specializing in various dog sports- Please add more and comment below if you know others in your area:
Danielle Levangie is the director of this great facility located on over 17 acres in the city of Barrie, Ontario, that opened its doors to the public in October, 2011. Built for the canine sport community, it hosts classes and events in numerous dog sport disciplines, indoors and out, all year long.
Located at Torontos Harbour Front, PawsWay Toronto is dedicated to the understanding and celebration of pets. It’s a place where pets, owners, and pet lovers can come together to enjoy exhibits, activities, special events and more. They frequently have Agility Demonstrations and classes, especially through the winter.
The Amazing Gillian Ridegway is the founder and director of Who’s Walking Who and has continued to train dogs using her positive reinforcement techniques. Many staff members also travel and perform with The SuperDogs or WoofJocks Performance teams. This means they are not only able to guide you as an owner towards your goals, but are also pursuing their own. With a focus on safety, patience and positive training any dog can be taught an agility course. But she warns agility can be addictive its so much fun!
Fast & Furry team taking their dogs through the agility course and demonstrating positive training methods at the All About Pets Show, sponsored by Bullwrinkles Treats – watch highlights HERE!
Heather McLeod from RUFFSPORT explained:
“ I train a group of dogs that compete in agility, flyball, disc and dock jumping. We have a load of fun building a lot of the foundations in order to do these sports. We work on tricks and foundations so that the dogs understand focus, handling and what is expected, and all through positive reinforcement. We use rewards like food, praise, toys and play. We take advantage of their natural drives like chasing and running, especially in the case of herding dogs like Diesel the Border Collie. You can build with that natural prey instinct to chase you for a good recall, and the instinct to play with toys, to chase you to play. You want to work all that safe fun stuff and basically keep them into you rather than everything else in the environment. We shape behaviours. Shaping a behaviour means training a dog to do something in small stages. We teach the dog to perform a new behaviour by breaking it down into smaller parts and rewarding it. We try to “capture” the behaviours we like. We wait for the dog to perform a certain behaviour, and then reward it so he will repeat it again with treats or a game, positive feedback and in some cases a clicker.”
Toronto’s very own full-service dog training and resource centre ran by the wonderful Renee DeVilliers! The 14,000 sq. ft. facility houses two large training halls, fully matted for cushion and traction to allow you and your dog to engage in fun activities, such as agility, rally obedience, show handling, tricks and dog sports all year round. We filmed an agility fun day at All About Dogs as part of our Open Casting Calls- so fun!!! see the exciting videos here. Renee commented “Agility is great exercise for you and your dog” and gives more commentary in our Talent Hounds film.
Works with both pet dog and working dog owners, who are seeking to provide their dogs with activities that are both mentally stimulating and fun! They use naturally drives and positive methods to bring out the best in dogs.
A facility completely dedicated to dogs and their owners that offers a wide range of classes and services including Agility. Dog Sports Centre is located on 42 acres in the beautiful Caledon Hills north of Toronto Ontario.
What are you waiting for! Go to your nearest dog sport facility and join the community of dog lovers who are having fun and getting fit with their dogs.
Do you know of a great dog sport facility or up coming event or fun activity? We’d love to hear about it, comment your tips, trainers and ideas below! Don’t forget to check back every week for our Fit Dog Fridays for weekly tips and motivation to stay fit and healthy with your dog.
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