Owners of dogs often enter them in competitions, whether show (breed conformation shows) or sports, including dog racing & dog sledding. The winners garner much prestige and prize money. These dogs are often bred specifically for competition, which may not be entirely beneficial for the breeds due to the magnification of hereditary defects.
Variety Of Dog Competitions
There are a wide variety of available competitions that dogs compete in. Some involve athletic competitions while others are based on the appearance of the dog itself.
Dog Show – Dog shows are competitions where dogs are evaluated by judges to see how closely they match the ideal characteristics of the breed. The most famous competition for dogs is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Dog Racing – Dog racing is similar to horse racing and takes place at dog tracks where betting is available. Usually Greyhounds are the participants and they reach speeds of 40 miles per hour. Dog racing can also be done by other breeds, but usually as a novelty sport.
Agility Competitions – Dog Agility Competitions involve dogs competing on a timed obstacle course. The course usually includes jumps, ramps, runs, and other obstacles that the dogs must maneuver through.
Dogsled Racing – Dogsled racing is mainly held in norther climates and usually involve Alaskan Huskies or Eurohounds. The dogs pull a sled and a driver over a snow covered course. The course can be quite short, or in the case of the famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race held in Alaska (approx 1,151 miles) it can also be long and arduous.
Dog Fighting – Though illegal in almost every jurisdiction, dog fighting still takes place in some areas. In dog fighting, two owners pit their dogs against eachother while often they and other observers make bets on which dog will win. Most often these fights involve one dog being killed by the other, though an owner can also end the fight by admitting his dog has been defeated.
Throughout history, dog owners have long come up with competitions to prove that their dog is superior to the dogs of others. Many competitions are protested over suspected mistreatment of the animals, though many others are seen as hosting the best of all breeds of dogs.