Boston Terriers & Dog Sports

Boston Terriers may be small but they are smart and active dogs that can compete with the big guys at any sport you are interested in pursuing with them. Here are a few of the many sports out there.

Agility – Agility uses a combination of speed and accuracy as a dog and his handler negotiate an obstacle course. The course includes obstacles like the A frame, a teeter totter, tunnels, jumps, and chutes. The dog must do the course in a specific order as directed by his handler. It is timed and penalties are incurred for errors. Dogs can earn titles and have lots of fun participating. Jumps are geared to the dog’s height so they are within easy reach of any sized Boston.

Flyball – Flyball is about speed, jumping and fetching. Dogs work in teams in a relay style competition. Each dog on the team jumps a series of hurdles on his way to grab a ball from a board at the end of the course before returning back over the hurdles and sending the next dog out. The hurdle height is based on the height of the team’s smallest member so again, no worries about not being able to get over those jumps. For fetch-aholics this is an ideal sport. Bostons are small but speedy and do well as members of a team.

Rallye Obedience – Rallye is a more relaxed type of formal obedience. It is set up like an obstacle course only the obstacles are commands like sit, turn, back up, etc. You are allowed to talk to your dog and the atmosphere is less severe than it is with formal obedience. There are various levels and your dog works in partnership with his handler. It builds a great relationship with your Boston Terrier and is lots of fun for both of you.

Although Boston Terriers are not usually associated with tracking, herding, or lure coursing they can still participate and many really enjoy these sports too.

Tracking – Tracking involves teaching your dog to follow a track laid by another person. Your Boston needs to have a good sense of smell and enjoy finding things. If you play hide and seek with your dog and they enjoy it then tracking is something worth trying. You may feel a bit out of place initially as many of the breeds that participate are sporting and hunting dogs and hounds but lots of other breeds do participate and excel.

Herding – While it might not be wise to try herding cattle with your Boston, there’s no reason you can’t give ducks a try. Herding is about keeping the flock together and guiding them where the shepherd wants them to go. Although the main participants are the traditional herding breeds like collies and sheepdogs, it is open to non-traditional breeds that want to give it a try. If your Boston is keen on keeping the kids together and is good at following directions, there is no harm in trying.

Lure Coursing – This is a sport that is traditionally the domain of sighthounds but probably has more non-traditional participants than any other. Lure coursing is really about the sheer joy of running and lots of Bostons love to run. While a traditional course has multiple hounds on the course at the same time. The UKC and many other groups do individual runs. You can compete against other Bostons by comparing your times and working to improve it. Remember that hot weather is not a Boston’s best friend. Restrict runs to cooler times of the year like spring and fall.

Water Sports

Like many breeds that are heavier in the front of the body with smaller back ends, Bostons are not always great swimmers. Be very careful about sports like dock diving and water retrieving. Try swimming in areas where you can easily lend your dog a hand if he gets into trouble and make sure he is a great swimmer before you attempt sports that require him to be a strong swimmer.

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