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What Dog Sports do Golden Retrievers Excel At?

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The Golden Retriever is widely known for being one of the gentlest dog breeds around but it is one of the smartest breeds as well. Golden Retrievers are fairly active dogs, requiring a good bit of daily exercise, but equally important is the amount of mental stimulation they receive. Dog sports are a great way to exercise your Golden Retriever, both physically and mentally.

What are the Benefits of Dog Sports?

Intelligent breeds like the Golden Retriever need to have their minds engaged to prevent boredom and, as you may already know, a bored dog is often a destructive dog. One of the best ways to keep your Golden busy is to train him for various dog sports.

Training your dog to participate in a dog sport is great for a number of reasons. For one thing, it gives your dog a boost of physical exercise which is important for active breeds like the Golden Retriever. If you are the one training your dog, the time you spend training is also time that you spend building your bond with your dog. In addition to learning how to work and compete together, you and your dog will come to trust and rely on one another more and more.

While a daily walk is a great way to give your dog the exercise he needs, it simply isn’t enough for some breeds. The activity level of Golden Retrievers varies but many younger dogs of this breed need more than just a daily walk to work off their energy. Training your dog for active dog sports like agility or flyball can work off a lot of excess energy in a short period of time and it can also reinforce his obedience. You can even play to your Golden Retreiver’s strengths and train him to participate in water sports or retrieving competitions.

The Best Sports for Golden Retrievers

The great thing about the Golden Retriever is that it is a highly versatile breed when it comes to dog sports. These dogs are very intelligent and eager to please which means that they will respond well to most forms of training. If you are looking for a dog sport that will help you to meet your Golden’s needs for physical exercise, an active sport like flyball, agility, dock diving, or canine freestyle are all great options. If you want to test your dog’s obedience, rally obedience is a wonderful dog sport to consider. Other options for dog sports include disc dog competition, field trials, lure coursing, retrieving trials, skijoring, bikejoring, and more.

Not only are Golden Retrievers a wonderful breed for dog sports, but they can also be trained for various professions. For example, the calm and peaceful nature of the Golden Retriever breed makes it an excellent choice for therapy dogs and guide dogs. The intelligence of Golden Retrievers also makes them talented search and rescue dogs. The long and short of it is that Golden Retrievers can be trained for nearly any sport or occupation as long as you find the right motivation and work with your dog as often and as consistently as possible.

When it comes to caring for your Golden Retriever, you need to think beyond a healthy diet and a safe place to live. It is also your job to make sure that your dog gets the physical and mental exercise that he needs. Training your Golden for various dog sports is a great way to accomplish both of these goals at the same time!

Photo credit: stieberszabolcs/Bigstock

~Petguide.com
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