Dogs that serve man

Sporting and leisure dogs

Practicing a sports or leisure activity with your dog

Beauty contests, racing, obedience, agility… There are many opportunities for a dog owner to practice a sports or leisure activity with his animal. Whatever the event chosen, the quality of the work required from the dog will be the expression of a true complicity between the animal and his master, without which there would no play and no victory.

The national events organized in countries where there are canine organizations are, on the whole, governed by international regulations.

Beauty contests

These competitive events which are called dog shows are local, national, international or world events during which dogs of the different breeds are assessed, with respect to their morphology and behavior, by judges and experts, on the basis of breed standards.

Canine sports

According to their breed or their abilities, the dogs may take part in many competitions offering their owners the opportunity to practice sports or training activities with their animals.

 Hunting: field trial (pointing dogs), hunting competitions (hounds), game hunting competitions, unearthing competitions...

Search: truffle excavation competitions (truffle dogs)

Water rescue or water working dog events: mainly Newfoundlands

Racing: racing hounds (Whippets, Greyhounds).

Herding competitions: shepherd dogs (Pyrenean Shepherd, Border Collie...)

Tracking: search for objects and human beings

Ring, Mondioring, Campagne, IPO (RCI):

These competitions consist in a series of events in which the dog reveals his natural abilities in several fields. Depending on the type of competition, the events may include obstacle jumping, obedience, combativeness, defense and tracking.

Agility: the dogs race on an obstacle course similar to an "assault course" or to a road safety track.

Canicross: the master runs with his dog on a waymarked natural ground. This is in fact the official sports translation of jogging with your dog at your side.

Flyball: this is a relay sprint race with teams of at least four dogs. Each dog races over a series of four hurdles spread over a 15-meter distance after which there is a spring-loaded box that the dog must trigger. The catapult mechanism frees a ball that the dog must retrieve to his master after having jumped over the hurdles in the opposite direction.

Frisbee: the dog must race to catch a disk called a Frisbee launched by his master.

Sled dogs

The first traces of dogs harnessed to sleds date back to some 4,000 years in Oriental Siberia. But the recognition of dog sledding and pulka-skiing as sports disciplines dates back to the early twentieth century. While the gold rush was in full swing, groups of enthusiast formed, eager to measure up each other’s sled dog teams in terms of strength and speed.

Since the beginning of the century, races have multiplied in the United States and Canada, leaving their Alaskan cradle. A second cradle saw the light of day in 1924 in New England, with the founding of the New England Sled Dog Club. In 1932, the Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid made possible the appearance of sled races as a demonstration sport, and these races won considerable success with a numerous public. Today, it is almost impossible to count all the competitive races taking place every winter; especially in North America. All these races are annual events attended by tens of thousands of people.


Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland) is also a cradle of sled sports. However, the most popular discipline is not sledding, but pulka-skiing, a sport combining crosscountry skiing and sledding: the crosscountry skier is linked by a cord to his team, composed of one to three dogs on average, drawing a ballasted barquette-shaped sled. For this discipline, the Scandinavians do prefer using gun dogs (Braque Pointers, Pointers, Setters), as these prove to be faster on short distances (7 to 12 km) and psychologically better suited for a solitary effort.

Dog pulka-skiing and sledding now form a key discipline in canine sports. Under the aegis of the federations, this sport has achieved an international reach.


Terrier dogs, pack dogs, gun dogs

Terrier dogs, water dogs, pack dogs, pointing or retrieving dogs, they all have specialties, physical builds, olfactory or visual characteristics of their own.

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