Dog Sports That Require Football-Related Skills

Arguably, the fall and the advent of football season is the most popular time in the sporting world (outside of the Olympics); the fever pitch associated with the dawn of a new NFL season never ceases to seize the attention of sports fans across the globe. With this in mind, the NFL will kick off its 2012-2013 season tomorrow night when the Dallas Cowboys take on the incumbent Super Bowl champions the New York Giants. While many fans will kick back and observe the festivities, what they may not know is that their canine can get in on some of the football fun. If you thought football and the skills associated with what may be America’s most beloved sport was only for humans, think again.

In honor of the upcoming season that will captivate millions, we’ve put together a list of sports for dogs that require some of the skills seen on a week-by-week basis in the NFL. These activities form the bare-bones basics of football skills, but will allow your pooch to get in on the football fun and for true football fans to relive their favorite plays all season long with Fido! If nothing else, these activities provide excellent ways to stay active and healthy with your pet.


No matter the position a player plays, running is a core skill necessary to compete at football’s highest level. Running builds endurance and helps get individuals in shape, which is necessary if a starter wants to last all four grueling quarters every week in the NFL.

For canines, it is the same deal. Running is an excellent way to get and stay in shape. As an added bonus, the sport can provide a great bonding experience between pet and person. While one always has to be mindful of the heat when they are running with their dog, the heat is a little less of a factor during the fall and winter months (football season). It takes no special equipment to go running with your dog, and it forms the basis of many football fundamentals.

dog sportsAgility Training

So you saw Arian Foster have what might be the play of the season, completing a 70-yard touchdown run with three spins and an incredible juke move, and you’d like to re-enact it with Fido. Well, with agility training, you can build the skills that would allow you to do just that.

Agility training, which requires dogs to run through various obstacles on a course, provides an excellent way for both pet and pet owner to stay in shape. The obstacles dogs must run through helps build their ability to pivot on a dime, a skill all NFL running backs know vital to their success on the field. Additionally, the agility sessions, which can be tiring, to say the least, work to build endurance as dog and dog owner work in tandem to run the course. A thing of true beauty, agility training showcases dogs excelling at a football-related skill.

Disc Dog

This is a sport that any Wide Receiver (or fan of Wide Receivers) can truly appreciate.

Disc dog, a twist on fetch that is also called Frisbee Dog, is more than just a game of fetch with a plastic disc. The sport is more akin to Ultimate Frisbee, but for dogs. Dogs and their people work in tandem to perform distance throwing or freestyle catching, and can even throw tricks (such as jumping off of a person’s back to catch the disc) into the mix. Picture Eli Manning airing it out to Victor Cruz, who performs a one-handed catch while out-leaping a defender, and you’ve got disc dog in a nutshell.

While the sport helps build your pooch’s catching skills, it is also an excellent way to exercise with your pup. In addition to physical exercise, the sport provides mental stimulation, as he needs to use his brain when he runs and leaps after incoming discs. Additionally, the training involved in disc dog will help build your dog’s obedience skills, and forge a strong bond between canine and person.

Does your dog participate in any of these sports that bear some semblance to football-oriented skills? Will you re-enact your favorite plays from this NFL season with your dog? Share in a comment.