Dog Days of Summer

By Jessica Freni

Summer is in full swing and it’s a great time to make the most of the “dog days of summer” to try some of the fast growing activities offered by the AKC. In addition to the traditional tent poles of AKC Performance- Agility, Obedience, Rally- there’s an ever growing list of dog-centric sports and titling activities. Fast CAT, Dock Diving, Scent Work and Barn Hunt are increasingly popular with trial opportunities drawing large entries and often filling quickly.

Unlike Lure Coursing, which is limited to twenty Hound breeds, CAT and Fast CAT are open to all over 12 months of age, including mixed breeds. Many clubs have seen overwhelming success and gotten great feedback when offering Fast CAT alongside all breed conformation events (Fast CAT needs considerably less open space than CAT). It’s a great outlet for the dogs and a lot of fun for the people with a fun community and opportunity for not only titles, but this great photo opportunities everyone loves! Fast CAT not only brings entries (revenue), but is a great avenue to bring new people into the venue when offered alongside conformation shows. Don’t worry too much about training mostly Fast CAT gives dogs an opportunity to let their natural abilities shine- it’s very beginner friendly, but definitely addictive!

Fast CAT® – which stands for Coursing Ability Test – is a timed 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure.

Dock Diving is another fairly new sport “making a splash”. Dock Diving is open to all breeds and mixed breeds over 6 months old. Dock Diving is divided into two events: distance jumping and air retrieve. Dock Diving enthusiast, Emily Perez, competes with her spaniels and describes it as a “very fun and beginner friendly…expensive yes, about $20-30/splash with the level of training needed varying across the three activities: There’s air retrieve, hydrodash, and long jump.”

Titles earned through North America Diving Dogs (NADD) will be recognized by The American Kennel Club.  To apply, simply complete the Title Application.

NADDS events may be held in conjunction with AKC events.

So get out there and try something new with your dogs and make the most of the “dog days of summer”! And maybe consider adding these big draws to your Club’s next event!


“Surf” Dock Diving courtesy of Emily Perez (VinEwood’s Makin’ Waves NA)

“Dimmi” Fast CAT courtesy of Patty Alleman (Talavera’s All That N Dim Sum TKN)

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