Scent hurdling is partly about obedience, and partly about speed. It’s similar to flyball in that it’s a four-dog team event, a relay race up and back over a line of small hurdles. However, the object of each dog’s attention at the end of the course is not a spring-loaded box that spits out tennis balls, but a board on which are placed four identical dumbbells, one of which carries his handler’s scent. The dog must sniff out the right dumbbell, pick it up, and bring it back over the jumps. Good scent-hurdle dogs are both fast and accurate, and as enthusiastic about their game as flyball specialists are about theirs.
Schutzhund is a three-tiered sport involving obedience, tracking and protection work. It began in Germany as a working and temperament test for German Shepherd Dogs, but expanded to include the many other breeds typically used as protection dogs, and is now (in North America at least) open to all breeds capable of performing the exercises, which are demanding, especially at the advanced levels. All three parts of the test are conducted in a large, open field rather than in a small ring or arena. Dogs must demonstrate steadiness when a gun is fired. The protection work may seem to be the most exciting part of the sport, but tracking and obedience are essential aspects of an integrated whole
Sled Dog Tests
Who says that hockey is Canada’s only national sport? You don’t have to move indoors in the winter to enjoy working with your dog: you can hitch him to a sled and take to the snow. What’s more, you don’t need a large team – one or two dogs are enough – and while the Northern breeds, such as Siberian Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes, are the traditional mainstays of the sport, dogs of many breeds can and do excel as sled dogs. Many people are content to enjoy recreational sledding, but racing at both sprint and long distances is fun and extremely popular, and sled-dog titles can be earned by building up mileage in accredited races.
That the Newfoundland Dog possesses a unique instinct and talent for saving lives has been recognized for many years, and the remarkable achievements of this gentle giant have been well documented. The breed was developed to work in the water, and the water-rescue test was devised to promote and preserve these rescue skills. At present, only Newfoundlands may compete. Junior- and advanced-level tests are offered, and the various required exercises include retrieving from shore and from a boat, towing a boat, retrieving underwater.
Rat sports are based on hunting skills and teamwork. Historically, vermin hunters and their dogs offered their services to farmers, hunting vermin and helping to maintain and preserve their food and grain supplies while also protecting their families from disease. The dogs were expected to find vermin in both fields, buildings and in their underground burrows. The sport promotes teamwork between a dog that must track and indicate the presence of vermin in a given environment, and the ability and effectiveness of the handler in reading their dog. All done with respect, and with the welfare and animal participants' safety in mind.
The Therapy Dog Programme recognizes dogs and owners who volunteer their time to help others. Dog and owner work together, sharing their bond and inviting those around them to benefit from the affection and friendship of a dog. By visiting schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and other venues, therapy dogs and their owners enrich the lives of individuals and create an enhanced sense of community. In order to qualify for CKC certification, your dog must have received a title through one of CKC’s approved Therapy Dog organizations. The primary objective of Therapy Dogs is to bring smiles and a sense of well-being to everyone whose lives they touch.
CKC APPROVED THERAPY DOG ORGANIZATIONS