Dog sports are a fun way to channel your dog’s energy and attention. Consider dock diving (jumping for height and distance off a dock into a body of water, usually in pursuit of a coveted ball or toy) or (in which dog teams race over a line of hurdles to a box that releases a tennis ball, which the dog then carries back to their handlers). These activities are great exercise and bonding activities for dog and human alike.
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The choices in dog sports and recreation are nearly endless. Dog sports can help keep active dogs both physically and mentally healthy. All dogs need some degree of , but most will thrive with extra stimulation. Very active dogs are ideal candidates for high-performance sports like agility and flyball, though almost any can enjoy participation.
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The ball lets dogs get in on a variety of activities with people — including soccer action. The dog can pursue a moving ball that you kick or even pick up the soft ball with his mouth.
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Different web sites list different dates for the origin of the activity as a sport. I suspect that in concept it has multiple independent origins, based mostly on when the large lightweight exercise balls started to become widely available. Certainly the activity of playing soccer (aka football) with a dog has existed for a very long time. There have long been hard shelled balls for playing with your dog. The hard shell prevents the dog from biting the ball and encourages pushing it with paws or nose. Indeed there is a ball called a "pig ball" that is hard shelled and created for pigs to play with. Some variations of treibball use the pig ball. The variation of using exercise balls seems to be what has encouraged this activity to develop into a sport. The physical qualities of the gym balls seem more suited to a more methodical controlled ball movement than the hard shelled balls. Despite the rather rough translation by Google I found this site to be very good. The site is authored by Linda Westergre. The FAQ page in particular does a good job of explaining that this is not just a matter of turning the dog loose on the ball. Whether you view it as a sport or just fun time with your dog you and your dog will get more out of it if you develop some control from the beginning. The author emphasizes that the activity is fun, but about cooperation, not random free play. You will get the most out of this site if you are already comfortable with clicker training.