Canine Athlete & Performance Dogs

Learn more about joys of participating in canine athletic events and value of preventive examinations and nutrition to keep dogs top of their game.

Sports-related injuries in dogs are an emerging field of study, and CHF is committed to being on the forefront, providing grants for cutting-edge research into orthopedic concerns, proper nutrition and conditioning to achieve maximum performance while preventing injury, and innovative rehabilitation techniques.

Through the Initiative, CHF has established the Canine Athlete Fund to award grants to researchers working in this emerging veterinary field. Our first grant, awarded in June 2014 is a landmark clinical trial to establish the evidence-based use of regenerative medicine to reduce tendon injury in dogs. We are also educating the public on the joys of participating in canine athletic events, as well as the value of preventive examinations and optimal nutrition to keep all dogs at the top of their game

Free podcasts and webinars on canine athlete health concerns:

Intro to Sports Medicine, Dr. Joseph Wakshlag, Cornell University
Conditioning, Dr. Joe Spoo, DVM, The Gun Dog Doc
Rehabilitation, Dr. Janet Van Dyke, Canine Rehabilitation Institute
Cranial Cruciate Ligament, Dr. Jimi Cook, University of Missouri
Osteoarthritis, Dr. Duncan Lascelles, North Carolina State University
Pain Management, Dr. Steve Budsberg, University of Georgia
Early Spay and Neuter, Dr. Ben Hart, UC Davis
Hunting Dog Health Concerns, Dr. Joe Spoo, DVM, The Gun Dog Doc
Keeping Your Dog Fit for the Sport of Agility, Dr. Chris Zink, Dipl. ACVSMR
Regenerative Medicine to Treat Orthopedic Conditions in Dogs, Dr. Sherman Canapp, VOSM

Get involved in athletic events for your dog:

Check out information, photos and videos about each of these athletic events for your dogs!  These events are a great way to bond with your dog and kept both dog and handler fit and healthy.


In an agility trial, a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. Read more about agility and find out how to participate >>

Dock Diving

Dock diving or dock jumping is the sport of dogs competing to jump the greatest distance or the greatest height from a dock into a pool or other body of water. Read more about dock diving and find out how to participate >>


Flyball races match two teams of four dogs each, racing side-by-side over a 51 foot long course. Each dog must run in relay fashion down the jumps, trigger a flyball box, releasing the ball, retrieve the ball, and return over the jumps. Read more about flyball and find out how to participate >>

Frisbee/Disc Dog

Disc Dogs or Frisbee Dogs compete in judged competitions with a human disc throwing partner.  Events include distance catching and choreographed freestyle catching. Read more about disc dogs and find out how to participate >>


Herding tests offer herding breed owners a way to measure a a dog's basic instinct and trainability. Competitive herding trials preserve and develop the herding skills inherent in the herding breeds and demonstrate that they can perform the useful functions for which they were originally bred. Herding herding trials are designed to be simulations of pastoral or farm situations. Read more about herding and find out how to participate >>

Hunting Tests and Field Trials

Pointing breeds, Retrievers, Spaniels and Hounds participate in hunting and field trial events.  Hunting tests are non-competitive evaluations of the dogs hunting ability.  Different breeds of dogs hunt in different ways.  Field trials are competitive events meant to evaluate the performance of hunting dogs.  Today's modern field trial is a much evolved event with some of the best trained, highly skilled, and well conditioned sporting dogs. Read more about hunting and field trials and how to participate >>

Lure Coursing

Lure Coursing is a performance event that was created to test the functional abilities of sighthounds.  Lure coursing recreates open field coursing by having the dogs chase a plastic bag on a course that simulates the path of escaping game like jackrabbits. Read more about lure coursing and how to participate >>


Obedience events demonstrate the usefulness of dogs as human companions as dog and handler execute a series of exercises and are judged on accuracy and willingness to perform the tasks. Rally is also a judged for accuracy and willingness of the dog, however the dog and handler proceed through a course with designated stations rather than receiving instruction from the judge. Read more about obedience and rally and how to participate >>


Sled dog racing is a winter dog sport most popular in the Arctic regions of the United States, Canada, Russia, and some European countries. It involves the timed competition of teams of sled dogs that pull a sled with the dog driver or musher standing on the runners. Read more about dog sledding and how to participate >>


AKC tracking events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. These events events provide training for dogs and their handlers to meet some human needs for tracking and finding lost humans or other animals, as well as, demonstrating the extremely high level of scent capability that dogs possess. Read more about tracking and how to participate >>

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

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