Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Published September 5th 2012
New tricks for your canine companion
The warmer weather always brings out walkers and joggers as people realise it's time to lose those winter pounds, but what about your faithful pet? Dogs can be overweight too and bored with their indoor or backyard life. Fortunately there are several activities that are fun and healthy for you and your friend.
All types of dogs enjoy agility training
Agility Agility is a competitive sport where dogs are directed through an obstacle course. Many people think this is only for kelpies or border collies but I took my dear departed Chihuahua cross to agility training at the local dog club. As well as the working dog breeds, there was a boxer and a Scotty terrier that was even smaller than my dog.
Although we never competed, he loved the training. He dashed through the tunnel, scrambled up and over the A-frame and even the teeter-totter didn't faze him. In fact his only problem was a tendency to go under the jumps rather than leap over them.
Unlike competition, in training you run alongside your dog so this was an enjoyable few hours of exercise for both of us.
Jumps can be adjusted for small dogs
Dances with Dogs Dances with Dogs is a new type of training that began in the UK and became an official canine sport in Australia in 2009. There are two classes: heelwork and freestyle. As the names imply one is an advanced form of heeling and the other includes many different moves.
Both are set to music in a choreographed routine performed by the dog and the handler (who is often in costume). I can't wait to try this great-sounding exercise with my beautiful long-haired Corgi cross puppy. I just hope I don't have to dress like the Queen!
You can watch agility and Dances with Dogs at the Perth Royal Show. If you like what you see contact Dogswest to find a club offering training. Your dog will need to have a good level of basic obedience training first, which most clubs also offer.