I remember when I went to my first nosework trial, I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, it was only one run and in the same venue as we had our classes. After that first one, the nerves eased away.
Getting started with dog sports doesn't have to be intimidating. It can be a very fun and rewarding experience for both you and your dog. Dog sports are a team event and allows you to form a bond with your dog.
Want to start competing but don't know where to get started? Here are some steps and to get you started:
Choose a dog sport: There are many different dog sports to choose from, such as agility, obedience, rally, flyball, herding, dock diving, and more. Do some research to find a sport that interests you and your dog. Some trainers offer drop-ins so you can always do one class to see if it's a good fit.
Find a local club or trainer: Look for local clubs or trainers that offer classes or events in the sport you have chosen. These clubs can provide training, guidance, and support as you and your dog learn the sport. They also often educate you on the rules if you want to get into competitions.
Train your dog: Once you have found a club or trainer, start training your dog for the chosen sport. It is essential to have a solid foundation of obedience training before starting any dog sport. Training doesn't stop at the end of class. It's important to train daily, even if it's basic obedience training.
Attend events: Attend local events or competitions to learn more about the sport and meet other people who are passionate about it. You can also watch experienced competitors to gain insight and ideas for training.
Have fun: The most important thing is to have fun with your dog. Dog sports are a great way to bond with your dog, build confidence, and keep your dog mentally and physically active. So whether or not you're competing or going home with a ribbon, don't forget that your dog is an absolute star!