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NADA, Inc., offers skills training in a number of dog sports with the primary focus being dog sport foundations, agility, flyball, rally and obedience.  Check the following for more information:

Dog Sport Foundatons

Dog Sport Foundations

The purpose of this class is to provide handlers and dogs with the necessary skills and information needed to create great teams entering sports such as Agility, Flyball, Rally, and Obedience. It is well known that the skills sports dogs need are the same as those that dogs need to be great family pets! The key to any Foundations class, including the NADA Foundations class, is to teach skills that will enable the dog to give attention, offer behaviours, respond to cues, target and exhibit self-control. Some topics that are covered are Marker Based Training, ways to start a behavior including capturing, shaping and luring, the importance of play in learning, mat work, impulse control, loose leash walking/reinforcement zone and recalls.  This class is suitable for all breeds and dogs that are 6 months and older.

Agility

Agility

First developed in 1978 for the halftime show at an equestrian show jumping event, Agility has grown significantly.  Agility is a sport in which dogs navigate through a timed obstacle course made up of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and walkways with speed and accuracy. Some courses are predetermined by the judge, and for some, the handler must choose a path to accumulate the most points. In all courses, the handler may not touch the dog and the dog must work off-leash.  As an activity for both dogs and their owners, agility training helps keep dogs in shape, healthy, and mentally stimulated.

The Agility Association of Canada (AAC) was founded in 1988, bringing the sport to Canada.  Since then, there are other organizations that sanction agility trials.  In Newfoundland and Labrador, one can find Agility Association of Canada (AAC), UK Agility International (UKI), and Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) trials.  

At trials, there are a wide variety of types of courses found in the sport of agility, ranging from courses with only jumps and tunnels (called Jumpers in AAC, Speedstakes in UKI, Jumps and Tunnels in CKC) to courses using a full set of equipment (Standard in AAC, Agility in UKI and CKC).  A full set of equipment includes a variety of jumps, a dogwalk, an A-Frame, a teeter, weaves, and occasionally a pause table.  There are also games such as Snooker, Gamblers, Snakes & Ladders, Power & Speed and Points and Distance.  All courses are timed and judged on accuracy and speed.

Flyball

Flyball

Flyball has been called "drag racing for dogs" – it is a team sport with 4 dogs per team, and 2 teams racing against one another at a time. The course consists of a starting line, 4 hurdles and a spring loaded tennis ball-throwing box. Each dog must jump the hurdles, hit the box to eject the ball, catch the ball, and bring it back over the hurdles to the line before the next dog can go. When all 4 dogs on a team have successfully completed the course, the team is done. The first team to have all 4 dogs run without errors wins the heat. While a team consists of only 4-6 dogs who consistently run together, a club may have an unlimited number of teams. With all the running, jumping and excitement, Flyball provides a fantastic way to have fun with your dog while burning off excess energy!

The North American Flyball Association (NAFA) is North America's largest Flyball organization. NAFA allows all dogs, regardless of pedigree, size, or age to take part in Flyball. Dogs must be individually registered with NAFA to enter their tournaments.

Rally

Rally

Rally is a highly motivational Obedience sport, which both you and your dog will enjoy tremendously! Hand signals and/or verbal cues and body language are encouraged in all classes, and are a major part of the teamwork. Rally is considered by many to be a hybrid of both Obedience and Agility.

Rally is a sport in which the dog and handler complete a course that has been designed by the Rally judge. The judge tells the handler to begin, and the dog and handler proceed at their own pace through a course of designated stations (10-20, depending on the level). Each of these stations has a sign with a diagram and text describing what is to be performed. The dog may be asked to sit, down or stand next to their handler, the handler may be asked to walk around their dog in a circle, the dog may be asked to run and take a jump - every single course is different!

Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional Obedience. The team of dog and handler moves continuously at a brisk, but normal pace between exercise signs. Perfect heel position is not required. After the judge says “Forward,” the team is on its own to complete the entire sequence of numbered signs correctly.  

The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) allows all dogs, regardless of pedigree, size, or age to take part in Rally.  Check out the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) for more information on Rally performance.

Dog Sport Associations

Obedience

In the sport of Obedience, handler and dog work together to complete a series of exercises that demonstrate the ability of the dog and the handler to communicate through a a series of exercises that include walking on and off leash to jumping and retrieving . These exercises are clearly articulated by the governing organization (i.e. Canadian Kennel Club, AKC and CDSP) so the handler knows exactly what to expect before they enter the ring. 

 

Teams participating in Obedience will have the opportunity to begin at the Pre-Novice or Novice Level and work their way through Open Level to the Utility Level. At each level, there are new and demanding exercises to learn.  Along with heeling, teams will learn retrieve, scent articles, broad jump, stand for examination, and many other skills.

 

To be successful in Obedience, teams will need to learn the component parts of the exercises before linking them together. Handlers are limited with regard to the number of cues they can give so dogs will need to be focused and have a clear understanding of each cue. Scoring is rigorous. It will take time, patience, and skill to train a dog to enter and beautiful obedience work can be as demanding as dressage for horses. 

 

So why get involved in Obedience? Well, if you enjoy a challenge, there are lots of skills to learn. Obedience will test your training skills. Success in the ring rightfully gives you bragging rights; you have every reason to be proud of your accomplishments. But most of all, it is fun to work so closely with your canine buddy. Whether or not you ever enter the ring, the process of learning together will help create a wonderful bond between you and your dog.

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