Keeping you and your dog fitTile2Cooler months are ahead - the season for rest in the comforts of the indoors. But if you have a dog, hibernation is not an option.

Our canine companions need daily exercise to stay healthy and fit, which has many benefits for you, too! Fortunately, there’s a whole world of dog sports for you and your dog to enjoy during the winter months and all year round!

“Participating in dog sports means getting out and being active, and once you’re out and about with your dog, socialising and learning, the opportunities that can open to you with a well-trained dog, are enormous!” says Vicki Etherington OAM, a professional dog trainer and Board Member of Dogs NSW, the controlling body of purebred, pedigreed dog breeding and exhibiting in New South Wales.

"You don’t have to compete in dog sports to enjoy your dog. Participating in dog sports is a social affair. You and your dog socialise with friends, do something you enjoy and maybe one day have a passion for it!” Miss Etherington, who chairs the Dogs NSW Sporting Committee and is a member of various dog breed and activity clubs, said Dogs NSW offers a number of sports that run during the winter months, such as endurance, herding or sledding.

You might also like to try your paws at earthdog, lure coursing, agility or even doggy dancing. Some Dogs NSW dog sports have restrictions for participation, such as registering as an Associate member of Dogs NSW or having a certain breed type. But many of the sports are open to all dogs, including cross breeds, said Miss Etherington.

“Many people do dog sports for the fun of it. Plus, it gives their dog the opportunity to use its genetic background, such as in herding or gundog/retrieving.

As long as their dog is enjoying the activity, that’s what matters,” she said.21jun15 0877. Pinnacle

“Participating in dog sports also helps to strengthen the bond between people and their dogs, giving dogs confidence and teaching them to read their owner’s body language and listen for commands when they are out in public.”

Dogs NSW encourages more young people to participate in dog sports, “as long as they can control their dog,” said Miss Etherington.

“Dogs benefit children in many ways; they not only help kids stay active, but also teach them to care about their dog and to care about others.”

For more information on Dogs NSW dog sports and to find a club near you, visit www.dogsnsw.org.au, email or phone (02) 9834 3022.

Social media tags: #DogsNSW #dogsports

About Dogs NSW

Dogs NSW is the controlling body of purebred, pedigreed dog breeding and exhibiting in New South Wales. As the peak body for dogs in NSW, Dogs NSW promotes responsible dog breeding, showing, obedience, agility, working and sporting dog trials and other canine-related activities, as well as the ownership of temperamentally and physically sound purebred dogs by individuals in NSW.

Dogs NSW has over 10,000 members, with over 300 affiliated breed and kennel clubs throughout NSW. More than 50 of these affiliated clubs conduct dog training classes as a community service in local government areas, normally on a weekly basis. Dogs NSW is a member body of the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC).

To discover more, visit:  http://www.dogsnsw.org.au/

Agility image supplied by Darwin Photography Professionals.

Lure Coursing image supplied by Pinnacle Photography