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14 February 2024Dog sports

The benefits of joining a club

Did you know? Across Canada (and around the world) there is a network of connected harness dog sport clubs practicing and enjoying our sports together. Of course, you and your dog don’t need others to participate in these sports, but there are an abundance of benefits to joining a club that you and your dog(s) will love and appreciate!
Perhaps the best reason to join a local club is without a doubt the people! If you’re new to harness dog sports, a local club will give you access to the most incredible resource available, individuals with experience and passion ready to share their knowledge with you. Most clubs have a social media presence where you can ask questions and trouble shoot ideas on just about any topic related to these sport disciplines. Sanctioned clubs (those connected to a governing body) have a formal set of safety guidelines for participation that will help you and your dogs mitigate risk as well as making sure all of your husbandry and trail etiquette choices are upholding the highest standards of animal welfare and community care. The formal and informal mentorship that happens through club membership will help set you and your dogs up for success on the trail.
Many clubs have scheduled training days. Sometimes these days are focused on introductory lessons to help you try new disciplines within harness dog sports. Sometimes they’re simply an opportunity to practice what you already know together. Friendships formed through training days are not just for humans. Often this is where you’ll find your dog’s perfect canine running partner which will increase the enjoyment both you and they have on the trail.
Joining and training with a club often comes with a number of additional perks and benefits. Sometimes that’s exclusive access to groomed trails to train on certain times of the week. Other times it’s access to seminars and learning opportunities to help you develop and grow. Clubs often host additional events like races, fun runs or time trials for their membership to put all their practice into, well, practice. Local clubs are often connected to the wider sport community as well giving you access to opportunities not just close at home but across the country and around the globe as well!
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