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.

#DogsNSW #dogsports

Win an Activity Toy Pack!

Besides participating in a dog sport, playing games with your dog is a great way to get active and stay fit together in the colder months.Activity Packweb

Dogs NSW is giving members a chance to win one of three Activity Toy Packs by Purina PetLife! To enter, please email to your name, address, Dogs NSW membership number and contact phone number with subject heading "Activity Toy Pack Competition. Then in 25 words or less, let us know ‘What is your favourite dog sport and why?”

The competition closes on 31 May 2017 and the winners will be judged on their responses to the question. Winners will be notified by phone.

For more information on Dogs NSW's dog sports, check out www.dogsnsw.org.au/activities-a-events.html

Agility image supplied by Darwin Photography Professionals.

Lure Coursing image supplied by Pinnacle Photography