A dance between dogs and humans through jumps, tunnels, A-frames, dog walks, teeter totters and the infamous weave poles. OK, the dogs do the obstacles but the humans guide them through the courses in a well coordinated dance of team work. Agility is a sport that requires (and builds) communication and teamwork between dogs and humans. It is a sport that can be enjoyed as backyard fun or taken to the highest level of competition.
How do skijorers stay fit in the summer? Cani-Cross! This sport is the dry-land form of skijoring. Using virtually the same equipment as skijoring (belt, bungee line and harness) the dog pulls while their human runs or hikes behind. Cani-Cross is also a great way to prepare for skijoring in the winter. It is an easy way to start to become comfortable with the equipment and train the commands BEFORE you add the skis into the mix!
One of the fastest growing dog sports in the past few years has been Rally. Rally puts some fun and challenge into basic obedience and encourages dog/human teamwork. As a sport, it is a judged obedience competition but done similar to an agility course. There are no obstacles (except for a jump at upper levels of competition). However, the dog/human team must smoothly maneuver their way through a series of stations through a set course. Each station requires the successful completion of an obedience command. All must be accomplished on a loose lead at novice levels or no lead at advanced levels. Teams are judged not only on the execution of the maneuvers, but on the teamwork demonstrated. This sport is a lighter take on formal obedience competitions. Even if you are not interested in competition, Rally is a fun way to practice obedience as well as a great preparation for teams wanting to do agility.