4 Activities from Crufts 2018 ~ For You and Your Dog To Try

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4 Dog Activities Which Take Place At Crufts

Getting Active With Your Dog

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about learning to enjoy walking with your dog (click here to read it, if you missed it). I talked about how obesity is on the increase in dogs and humans and discussed the benefits of taking a walk with your dog.

So, continuing the idea of getting active, and including your dog, I thought I would write about some more activities you can try with your dog.

I’m sure you all know that Crufts 2018 started today and is on till Sunday, 11th March. I’ve never been to Crufts, I’d love to go, but I think I need to build up some energy reserves first. However, I do like to watch it on TV (you watch live streaming of Crufts on YouTube or catch up each evening, with Clare Balding on More4).

To be honest, I’m not that interested in the breeds show ring part, I find it uncomfortable viewing, but that’s just me. I do love to watch the activities that take place at Crufts.

If you are looking for something more than walking with your dog, then maybe one of these activities will be of interest:

  • Agility,
  • Obedience,
  • Flyball, and
  • Heelwork to Music

They all take place at Crufts over the next few days, so you can watch them and get a feel for what is needed to compete. Maybe you’ll find something you’d like to have a go at!


Activities With Your Dog {Activities} #Agility #Activities #Crufts #Exercise #DogTraining #DogActivity www.scruffylittleterrier.comWhen Barney was a puppy, I thought he might be quite good at Agility (he was quite nifty as a puppy). I love the look of agility, whenever I’ve watched it, both the dog and owner seem to be enjoying themselves so much. However, as Barney got older (and only interested in treats, squirrels and playing!) and me with ME/CFS, I quickly realised this was not something we could do together.

Agility is fast, furious and looks like great fun. It tests the dog’s fitness (and the owner’s too, I think) and the owner’s handling skills in training obedience and getting the dog around the obstacles in the correct order.

If you are keen to give agility a try, many locally held dog shows have an agility course, which is just for fun. You can get a feel as to whether you and your dog might enjoy it.

Then you might want to take it a bit more seriously, by joining a Kennel Club Agility Club to start training. Training is likely to take some time, as your dog needs to be socialised and as, he will be off-lead when competing, you will need to have control of your dog. For safety’s sake, it is recommended that your dog be over one year old before he starts training on the equipment.

The formal requirements for competing in a Kennel Club licensed agility show are a bit easier (taken from the Kennel Club’s website);

  • Your dog must be registered with the Kennel Club, either on the Breed Register or on the Activity Register.
  • Competitors taking part in any Kennel Club licensed event must familiarise themselves with the Kennel Club Rules and Regulations beforehand. The agility regulations can be found in the agility and flyball regulations booklet.
  • Dogs can only enter agility shows when they are 18 months of age or over and have been officially measured and placed in the correct height category.
  • You will need to have an agility Record Book (available from the Kennel Club online shop) in which to record your dog’s height category and all your competition wins and clear rounds.

Agility is on every day at Crufts, it really is exciting to watch, so head over and see what you think!


Activities With Your Dog {Activities} #Agility #Obedience #Activities #Crufts #Exercise #DogTraining #DogActivity www.scruffylittleterrier.comWhilst Obedience might not be the most energetic of activities, it is a great exercise for building on the connection between you and your dog.

Competitive Obedience is well-trained dogs having their abilities tested, with the objective being that dog and handler work as a team to complete each exercise with accuracy and precision. Both handler and dog can be penalised for errors and faults.

The exercises range from heelwork (on and off the lead), to a recall, control exercises such as a one minute sit and a two-minute down stay. As you progress through the classes the exercises obviously become more difficult. Dogs are expected to work in a natural and happy way, with the handler responding quickly to the steward’s commands.

You can start learning the basics in classes like the Good Citizen Dog Scheme, or you can find a club, via the Kennel Club website, that holds obedience classes.

The formal requirements for competing in a Kennel Club licensed Obedience show are (taken from the Kennel Club website):

  • Your dog must be registered with the Kennel Club, either on the Breed Register or on the Activity Register.
  • Competitors taking part in any Kennel Club licensed event must familiarise themselves with the Kennel Club Rules and Regulations beforehand. The Obedience Regulations can be found in the Obedience Show ‘G’ Regulations
  • Dogs can only enter Obedience Shows when they are 6 months of age or over.

Obedience takes place every day at Crufts, so head over and see what you think, maybe the challenge of building a better bond with your dog is something that interests you.


Activities With Your Dog {Activities} #Flyball #Obedience #Activities #Crufts #Exercise #DogTraining #DogActivity www.scruffylittleterrier.comFlyball is, I think, the most exciting and thrilling activity to watch. I can only imagine what it is like to participate in! I watched it for the first time, last year, at Crufts and I was hooked!

I think Sandy would be fantastic at flyball, she is so fast but she is scared of pretty much everything, so actually competing would be impossible for her, sadly, because I think she would love it.

Flyball is fast and furious, it may look easy but I suspect that it takes a lot of training to get dogs and handlers to work as a team, the precision to hit the base which releases the tennis ball and all at speed!

The Kennel Club describes it as “two teams of four dogs compete at the same time, each using a parallel ‘racing lane’ down which each dog in turn runs, clearing four hurdles in succession before triggering a pedal on the Flyball box.

A tennis ball is then released which the dog must hold before returning over the hurdles to the start line. The first team to have its fourth dog across the finish line, with any part of the dog’s body, wins the race. Each dog must cross the finish line before the next dog can start, and handlers aim to launch their dog so that it will cross with a returning dog just at the line.

If a run is not completed correctly the dog must re-run at the end of the line (for instance if the dog drops the ball, misses out a hurdle or starts too early, if the ball-loader assists the dog, or the handler crosses the start line while their dog is running). Usually the best of three runs decides which team proceeds to the next heat but five runs are also sometimes used. Each team consists of four handlers plus a ‘box loader’ and some reserves, although teams often also provide stewards.”

Flyball takes place every afternoon at Crufts, with the Team Final on Sunday afternoon, it’ll be thrilling, that’s for sure!

If you are interested in trying Flyball with your dog, no previous experience is necessary and to compete dogs should be 18 months old. You can find a club Flyball Club at www.findadogclub.org.uk.

Heelwork to Music

Activities With Your Dog {Activities} #Heelwork #Activities #Crufts #Exercise #DogTraining #DogActivity www.scruffylittleterrier.comHeelwork to Music has become popular in recent years, since Ashleigh and Pudsey won Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and then Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse won in 2015. The public were amazed at the connection between each owner and their dog, the routine they performed together and the skill they both displayed.

I think these contestants won because the bond was so apparent for everyone to see. At Crufts, Heelwork to Music is split into two categories ‘Heelwork to Music’ and ‘Freestyle’.

The Kennel Club describes Heelwork to Music as “Obedience training with a twist! Your dog has to display its understanding and knowledge of training commands. However, this is done by incorporating its obedience skills within a choreographed routine, which has been devised by the handler, alongside a chosen piece of music.

Heelwork to Music requires many dog training skills and those taking part usually have had backgrounds in other training activities, although this is certainly not a prerequisite for Heelwork to Music.

Competitors are judged over three sections; Content and Flow, Accuracy and Team Performance and Musical Interpretation, each allocated a maximum of 10 marks.”

Clearly, Heelwork to Music takes a lot of dedication, training and time to achieve competition standard. You will need to join a training club so you can learn the requirements for Heelwork to Music and to practice.

Heelwork to Music takes place every day at Crufts.

Crufts 2018

The Crufts daily programme is so varied that I’m sure you will find something that interests you, or even encourages you to have a go at something new. Who knows where it will take you?

Or, do you already partake in one of the above activities? Have you won any competitions? We’d love to hear about it.


Crufts 2018

Kennel Club Activities

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