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Dogs playing sports

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Our members participate in more activities with their dogs than the four in which classes are offered. SOME of these are described below. This is by no means an exhaustive list!


Herding dogs help their owners to manage livestock. They help to bring them in, keep them together, push them away and guide the stock where the owner wants them. There is a lot of training required by both dog and handler to make the activity look smooth and coordinated.


This sport is growing in popularity in our area. It’s a fun pastime that both dogs and humans can enjoy together. Carting is a great way to exercise and condition your dog and pulling the cart seems to give dogs a sense of purpose. Maneuvering the cart through, past, and around various obstacles is a skill that must be learned along with backing up the cart.

Most often you'll find large draft breeds like Newfoundlands, or Bernese Mountain Dogs harnessed to carts or wagons, but even small dogs like a Border Terrier and their owners can participate. Some small therapy dogs pull a little wagon with goodies or surprises as they make their hospital rounds. In some organizations the big dogs pull people and the team is then driven by the owner. You will often see something fun in the cart. 

Barn Hunt

An increasing number of CDTA members practice BARN HUNT, the sport for vermin hunting dogs. 

In Barn Hunt practices and trials, live rats are encased in protective Schedule 40 PVC tubes and hidden in bales of hay or straw in barns.  Depending on their level of expertise, dogs are given a certain number of minutes to find a certain number of rats and are awarded AKC recognized titles for success.  This sport is super fun for dogs since it relies on their natural hunting instinct.  They are in charge of the team, not the handler, so they get to exercise their abilities rather than following someone else’s orders.

Mixed breeds can participate in Barn Hunt, as can elderly dogs.  It is not restricted to terriers and dauschunds as are Earth Dog events.

Support Activities

Dogs that are certified as Pet Partners, Therapy Dogs, and Crisis Support animals provide comfort and support to people in need. There are several members of our club who participate in activities with their dogs such as visiting the sick in hospitals, reading with children at the library, being available to students during high stress times at the end of a term, and comforting workers in natural disasters.

Special training is required for all of these activities so if you are interested in any of these with your dog(s), please come to a meeting to speak to someone about their experiences.


Earthdog terrier
The purpose of non-competitive earthdog tests is to offer breeders and owners of small terriers and Dachshunds a standardized gauge to measure their dogs' natural aptitude and trained hunting and working behaviors when exposed to an underground hunting situation.

The non-competitive program begins with a basic introduction to the prey they are hunting and the den in which they will search. This is “den work and quarry”.  The training then progresses through gradual steps to require the dog to demonstrate that it is willing to perform the required tasks, including seeking and locating its quarry underground. Fear not, rodent lovers: The rats are safely caged and are not harmed. In fact, many participants keep rats as pets for use in earthdog trials.

Drill Team (a past activity)

Putting together the basics of obedience into a Drill Team has been a fun activity for many of our members. The team has participated in a few parades already, proudly carrying the CDTA banner. What a fun thing to watch.