How to turn your pet into a superstar athlete.

Pets and people.
Aug. 26 2005 7:23 AM

The Dogs of Track and Field

How to turn your pet into a superstar athlete.

(Continued from Page 1)

In competition, dogs not only have to race their tails off, they also have to heel at the appropriate time. Professional trainers say amateur handlers should be unflaggingly positive and spend at least an hour a day of quality time—jogging, playing, etc.—with their pupil to build a strong dog-trainer bond. Once your dog starts to flourish, the professional trainers recommend—surprise!—that you send her to work with professional trainers. An academy like Mah's charges $75 an hour for private lessons. Most champion agility dogs are anywhere from 3 to 7 years old, so get cracking on those application forms!

By now, you're teaching your pooch commands, rewarding him for doing your chores, and feeding him high-end, protein-rich food. She can weave through an obstacle course, jump 20 feet, and all but crack a wall safe to find a tennis ball. But what if she turns out to be an athletic bust, just like your other kids? At least she'll be fitter and happier. The USDAA's Heather Smith says her miniature schnauzer gets the same social benefits out of the sporting life that a person might. "I know my little dog. He has his little agility classmates, and his fly-ball teammates, and they recognize each other, and know each other," she says. "I think they do. I'm sure they do."

Sam Eifling is an itinerant freelance writer and editor.


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse

An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Oct. 23 2014 11:51 AM It Seems No One Is Rich or Happy: I Looked
The Vault
Oct. 23 2014 12:02 PM Delightfully Awkward Studio Action Shots of Players, Used on Early Baseball Cards
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 12:01 PM Who Is Constantine, and Should You Watch His New Show?
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.