|DaneSport: Great Danes in Performance Competition
Competitive (& other) activities to do with your Dane.
Agility - is the fastest growing dog sport today. Competition agility involves running a designated obstacle course in a specified time. As the dog and handler progress they move up to more difficult levels of competition. This is all done off-lead and it requires the dog to have basic obedience as well as be physically fit. For more information on agility visit the AKC Agility FAQ page. Another website of interest is the North American Dog Agility Council. For more information specifically on Danes that do agility visit here.
Obedience - is the formal competition of handler and dog as a team. Exercises begin with simple heeling and stay commands and progress to difficult retrieves over jumps and scent article discriminations. The ability to work as a team is put to the test. An updated link to top Obedience Danes will be available soon.
Tracking - utilizes the dog's innate sense of smell. The dog is trained to follow the scent of a designated individual and scored on his ability to do so under increasingly difficult circumstances. For more information on agility visit the AKC Tracking FAQ page.
Weight Pull - events test the ability of the dog to move hundreds and even thousands of pounds. There are Great Danes who have participated and even titled in weight pull events.
Fly-Ball - is a tag-team sport where dogs hurdle towards a box than launches a tennis ball which they must return to the start line. It's fast, furious and a lot of fun. For more information on fly-ball and the Danes that do it click here.
Free Style - is currently not a competitive sport in North America but can be seen at dog events even know as exhibition. This is a routine of "dance" moves between handler and dog, set to music, and typically involving costumes. It's becoming more popular every day and is a great way to express your own individuality and the be creative in your training with your dog.
Therapy - work is something many Great Danes excel at. This can be as simple as supervised visits to a classroom or nursing home once a month to the dog and his handler working with a team of medical specialists to help facilitate various forms of therapy that is animal-assisted. Therapy dogs must have basic good manners and owners who are willing and able to volunteer. For more on doing therapy with your Dane, see An introduction to Danes as Therapy dogs by J P Yousha, Therapy Dogs International, Delta Society Therapy Animals and Therapy Dogs, Inc.
Assistance Dogs - are dogs specifically trained to help out their special needs owner. There are Great Danes that have been trained to work with the wheel-chair bound as well as with Parkinson's and other special needs individuals.