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Dog Competitions - Are You and Your Dog Ready?

Do you think your dog is ready to compete in a sporting event? Is he or she prepared to also train for that event? Before considering competition for your pet, there are several things to consider. There are different levels of competition for dogs. Some less competitive activities are used as a way to socailize and teach skills, and appropriate for most any pet. For instance, during a agility competition once a shy dog was coaxed by her owner into the fabric tunnel. Once in, the dog figured she'd stay there where is was quiet and less stressful. In this case agility was being used to as a way to help this dog learn to be around people and crowds, and the participants knew this was a 'for fun' non-competitive competition.


However, some dog competitions are seriously competitive. In these cases there needs to be consideration given to whether your dog is well-suited and ready to compete. There will be a time commitment for you and your dog. Think about whether the chosen activity fits your level of fitness, and your dog’s activity level. Is your dog’s physical and emotional make-up suitable for the chosen activity? Be honest about any existing physical problems. Also do the skills of both you and your dog fit the competition. Dogs that excel at competition typical have a built-in desire to do that activity.


Before training ask yourself the following questions.


1. Is you dog to old for strenuous competition? Age is a factor in training and entering of competitions. An elder dog may not be able to withstand the strain of specific exercises and competition. If the dog is already competing, you may have to cut down on intensity and involvement as he/she gets older.


2. Is your dog too young to be trained for this type of event? A younger dog also may need different training and conditioning. Puppies shouldn't start training too young, and should gradually get into these sports. Soft immature bones have different maturity rates, meaning it's best to tailor training to suit your particular dog. Similarly puppies mature at different rates mentally too. Young puppies clearly don't have the ability to comprehend athletic training, and it can be quite some time before they are really able to grasp that type of training. Adolescent training may take an approach that is both fun and firm, it will depend on your dog. Knowing the breed and nature of your dog will help you pick the right sport and prepare the training schedule.


3. How healthy is your pet? Health issues are a concern no matter how old your dog is. Are there limitations for your pet based on inherent breed issues, size or age? Your dog may not be suitable health-wise for long-term involvement in a specific sports or activities.


4. What limitations does your dog have in terms of mental, emotional and physical abilities? In conformation, there are certain physical standards your pet needs to meet. In agility, your dog requires specific skills and face challenges. In Earth Dog Trials (or Den Trialing), dogs require the ability to think and act. Is your dog ready? Can they be amongst groups of people, noise, and crowds?



5. Check with your vet. If you are looking to compete seriously with your dog, make sure your vet knows so that any potential problems can be avoided. A good vet can give advice on what is best, and can give you suggestions on how to train. They will tell you about risk factors to look out for. A great vet will help you and your pet remain involved and having fun.

Content written by Linda Kelly of, the top ranked place to purchase memory foam dog beds online.



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