Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Magical World of Video Dog Sports

Dog sports are an awesome way to show the world and also yourself how far you are your dog have come as a team. There are tons of different sports to participate in, from lure coursing to obedience to herding. Lots of people enjoy dog sport activities casually, just for fun. Others, like myself, find earning titles to be immensely rewarding. What better way to demonstrate your dog handling skills and the accomplishments of your dog? Personally, my first measure of someone selling their services as a dog trainer is whether they've ever titled a dog in anything.
chihuahua and heeler lure coursing

Unfortunately, not everyone has the option to demonstrate their skills at trials. Maybe your dog is a superstar at home, but shuts down in busy places with lots of people. Perhaps your fabulously talented dog cannot stand the sight of other dogs. Heck, maybe you simply don't have the means, ability, or option to attend trials for your favorite sports.

Happily, the magic of the internet now allows you and your dog to earn certain types of performance titles from anywhere in the world. You can show off your skills and earn certificates, ribbons, and letters to tack onto the end of your dog's name, all in comfortable and familiar surroundings. All you need is the capability to capture and upload video to the web.

Cyber Rally

A welcome addition to the world of rally obedience, Cyber Rally-O allows for accommodations of all sorts for both dog and handler. Someone in a wheelchair? No problem. Can't do a fast walk? That's ok! Your dog doesn't even need to be physically capable of sitting or laying down. The rules for your ring setup and equipment are minimal. You can record yourself, so throw you ring nerves away and get ready to show off how much your reactive dog loves heeling!

Trick Dog Titles

Do More With Your Dog allows you to earn titles for doing silly dog tricks. While they offer workshops, they don't really have performance events. Instead, you can have a friend or family member sign off on your dog's ability to perform a certain number of tricks for all but the championship title. How is that fair? Well, the championship title requires an extensive amount of video demonstrating a very high level of training, so it's going to be brutally obvious if you've been faking up till then. Don't have a cooperative human at your disposal? You can join an internet team led by a training coach who can sign off on your trick videos. They can also give you tips and idea, demonstrate training techniques, and help you solve training issues. Sisci and Brisbane each have their Novice Trick Dog titles, and definitely have the skills for the intermediate titles. Brisbane could potentially get his champion title, he's got some impressive moves.

Dog Parkour

Often called "Barkour", Dog Parkour is all about your and your dog interacting with various objects and features in your environment. You help your dog safely balance, climb, and move around and under...anything. Chairs, water troughs, boulders, tree stumps, childrens' playground equipment,  buckets, logs, fire hydrants, trees, decorative architecture...there is really no limit. You can earn parkour dog titles by submitting video demonstrating your dog's ability to perform a specific set of moves. Safety is a big concern, and dogs must be safely harnessed, leashed, and spotted in their videos. You can video and earn parkour titles with your dog in a major metropolitan area, deep in the woods, on a deserted island, or in your suburban neighborhood. 

So there you go! Go make some goals and start working toward them!

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