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Can You Train Your Pug for Dog Sports?

Dog sports take many different forms ranging from competition obedience to agility, flyball, and more. When you think of the perfect dog for dog sports, you probably picture a dog with long legs, an athletic build, and an abundance of energy – this is not what the typical Pug looks like. Even so, however, Pugs can participate (and excel) in several dog sports. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are the Most Popular Dog Sports?

There are a number of different dog sports out there, each of which caters to a particular type of dog. Some of these sports, however, can be adjusted for dogs of different ability levels and size. Here is a quick overview of some of the most popular dog sports:

  • Agility – This fast-paced sport involves the handler directing his dog through a series of obstacles as he is judged both on his speed and his performance.
  • Canine Musical Freestyle – The handler and the dog work together to perform a set of choreographed tricks set to music.
  • Flyball – In this sport a team of dogs competes to navigate a series of jumps to release a tennis ball from a box – they then catch the ball and go backward through the course to tag in the next team member.
  • Rally – This is a sport on which the handler leads the dog through a course in the heel position while performing different exercises along the way.
  • Disc Dog – In this sport, dogs are judged for their ability to chase down and catch a disc at different heights and distances.

Some of the dog sports on the list above are highly competitive while others are more for fun. When thinking about dog sports for your Pug, take some time to consider your goal – do you want your Pug to become a champion in his sport or are you merely looking for an opportunity to spend some time together?

Which Dog Sports Are Good for Your Pug?

The sports in which your Pug is likely to excel will vary according to a number of factors. For one thing, you’ll need to consider his energy level and his athletic ability. If your Pug is overweight or obese, he is probably not going to be able to do much in the way of sports – it may also be dangerous for him to exercise too heavily. If, however, your Pug is a healthy weight and your vet has cleared him for physical activity, there are a number of different dog sports you can try. One of the best dog sports for Pugs is competition obedience. This sport doesn’t involve as much physical activity as other sports – it is primarily a test of your dog’s recall ability and his training. If your Pug is a little more on the active side, he might do well in agility. Agility courses can be adjusted for dogs of different sizes, so your Pug’s small size won’t be an issue. Another option is Canine Musical Freestyle – this a sport that combines choreography with obedience in which you and your Pug perform a series of tricks set to music.

Just because your Pug is small doesn’t mean that he can’t do the things that bigger dogs do. You may need to make some adjustments for your Pug’s diminutive size, but there is no reason he can’t participate and excel in dog sports. Training your Pug for dog sports can be a great way to exercise him but, more importantly, it will be fun for the both of you and a great opportunity to strengthen your bond.

Photo credit: Utekhina Anna/Shutterstock