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Top 10 meaningful things you can do with your dog

Updated: Jul 19, 2020

Would you like to try something worthwhile and meaningful with your dog and are looking for some inspirations?

We spent busy few days at Crufts and here we wanted to share with you some of our personal highlights and handpicked groups and companies you might be interested to look into if you have a dog and enjoy dog training.

1) Pets as Therapy In the UK it is a charity working with schools, hospitals, recovery and rehabilitation units, scouts etc. Dog-assisted therapy has proven to significantly reduce stress, pain, anxiety and depression in people. Dogs are effective in non-medical settings too for example in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorders, in prison rehabilitation, in universities to reduce anxiety, in children who are struggling with their reading etc.

If you have a good-natured, friendly dog or a cat you can join them as a volunteer and help with this amazing cause.

For more information please see https://petsastherapy.org/ There are similar teams in many other countries, including USA, Canada, Australia and in many countries of Europe.

2) Search and Rescue Lowland Search and Rescue is another charity working for a great cause that you can take part in with your dog or support in another way. Search and Rescue teams with dogs work with police and other emergency organisations to help to find the missing people. Imagine if your dog could do save someone’s life one day? I think it is truly inspirational.

To be eligible for training as Search and Rescue, the dog needs to pass the assessment and there are some tests and requirements you should meet too. If you want to join their operational team expect significant time commitment and takin part in Search and Rescue missions in dark, wet, windy conditions until the missing person is found.

You can also support them in other ways, for example by coming to play the role of a missing person as a part of the training sessions, help with equipment etc. If you are interested to find out more, have a look at https://www.lowlandrescue.org

There are also Search and Rescue teams operational in most other countries, so check what you’ve got locally to you.

If you are interested in Pets as Therapy or Search and Rescue dogs, then you might also be interested in Helper Trick Dog Title Track by Dog Talent Association. While working on the titles you’ll teach your dog some useful skills, so it can effectively help you and others.

3) Paws N Music If you have been watching the Heelwork to Music performances at Crufts and was

wondering how you can have a go at it with your dog, then this might be a good way for you to start with. There are a number of Heelwork to Music instructors across the UK and in other countries, but unfortunately, they are still quite unevenly distributed. If you have not got a suitable group nearby, but you’d like to give it a go, you can start with Progress Awards. The criteria a very clearly described on the website and when ready you can submit your video for assessment.


There are several different categories that you can work on including Dances with dogs, Heelwork, Freestyle and Dressage. They also have a very helpful Facebook community, which you can join. For more information see: http://www.paws-n-music.co.uk

Danicng with dogs is benefitial for both the dog and the owners, so it is certainy a worthwhile thing to do.

If you are interested in Paws N Music you might also enjoy working with your dog on Performer Trick Dog Title or/and Talent Show Dog title as you’ll be strengthening and expanding the same skills with your dog.

4) Mantrailing UK This is a great way for you to teach your dog some Search and Rescue skills. You can then choose to do that for fun with your dog or maybe will decide to progress to the operational Search and Rescue role. Mantrailing is about teaching any pet dogs to find people. It is also exciting and quite addictive for both the dog and the owners. There are Mantrailing instructors all over UK. So if you would like to find out more have a look at https://www.mantrailinguk.com You’ll start by attending the Introductory workshop with your dog and then you can join trailing sessions with any Mantrailing UK instructor in any part of the country.

If you are in the USA, your best alternative contact is: https://gak9.com one of the best in the world California-based man trailing company with online training options and mentoring. If you live in any other country please see: https://www.inbti.com This is recognised international authority in the Mantrailing and Search and Rescue dogs training used by operational and Search and Rescue teams.

5) UK Sniffer dogs

Scent detection training for pet dogs. It is based on the training they do for the explosives or narcotics sniffer dogs, but aimed at general public and pet dogs. It is just as exciting though and you can take part in competitions and progress through the levels. They do regular training sessions all over the country, so you can always find a group nearby to join in.

For more information please see: https://www.uksnifferdogs.com


Both Mantrailing and sniffer dogs training is a very effective way for you to connect with your dog and many people say that they noticed huge improvements in dogs with behaviour problems after starting the training.

If you are interested in Mantrailing UK or UK Sniffer dog training you might also want to consider working towards Thinker Trick Dog Title.

6) Young Kennel Club This group is specifically aimed at kids who own and love dogs. You do not need to have a pedigree dog to take part in the training sessions, competitions, Summer camps and even to compete at Crufts. The members of the Young Kennel Club will be able to compete in dog showing, agility etc. Unlike the common believe you can take part with any crossbreed and non-pedigree dogs too. We think it is a great emerging way for kids to get involved in dog training and competing with their dogs: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ykc.news.thekennelclubuk

Taking part in Young Kennel Club activities will help to stranghen the bon between your child and the dog and will help them to discover more things about themselves and others.

7) Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme from the Kennel Club

The Good Citizen Scheme celebrated 27 years this year, so it is well-established and widely available throughout the UK. The GCS has 4 main levels starting with Puppy Foundation then Bronze, Silver and finally Gold. It is an excellent programme to help to teach your dog the foundation of obedience and will help you to enjoy your dog. What is great about the scheme is that it is non-competitive, and is open to any dog, including dogs with disabilities for which they make some special adjustments. The aim of the scheme is to help you to train your dog to be an enjoyable, happy companion and safe to be around for you and for others. https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/training/good-citizen-dog-training-scheme

In the USA you have an equally brilliant CGC scheme by American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/products-services/training-programs/canine-good-citizen/

If you have achieved the KC Bronze level or passed AKC CGC test, then you can progress straight to Novice Trick Dog Titles and Novice Talent Show Dog Titles skipping the Foundation Trick Dog Title.

8) Dog Talent Association (DTA)

Dog Talent Association helps you to select the training path for your dog depending on your dog personality and your own preferences. There are more than 230 tricks you can choose from to achieve Trick Dog Titles and Talent Show Dog Titles. There will be also plenty of opportunities to compete and to take part in talent show displays in large Dog events around the world, potentially even including Crufts 2021.

You can receive the titles and progress through them by submitting your video for assessment via the website- it’s very straightforward.

If you are interested, continue working on your titles and keep an eye on the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dogtalentassociation

Only those with titles under the belt will be able to take part and we are certainly hoping to see many of you next year in the live events.


Dog Talent Association titles are designed to develop your dog's natural abilities and will strenthen your bond. It will also help you to discover more opportunities for doing things you both enjoy together. Trick dog training is also immensely helpful to dogs with behavior problems or those who thrive on mental stimulation.


9) Dog Parkour Dog Parkour is a type of urban agility that you can do with your dog. You can do parkour anywhere, including your own home and progressively work through the titles. You do not need to have any expensive equipment or be physically agile yourself.

If you are based in the UK your best choice to start with would be Dog Parkour UK: https://www.facebook.com/DogParkourUK/

For anyone outside of the UK, we would recommend checking the International Dog Parkour Association instead: https://www.dogparkour.org

10) Canine Hoopers Hoopers is a relatively new low-impact dog sport. We think that Hoopers is a very interesting alternative to dog agility. What we liked about Hoopers that it is much kinder on the dog’s body. It is suitable for dogs with health conditions, young and old. It is just as fun as agility but much safer. You do need special equipment, but there are a growing number of Dog Hoopers clubs and training groups, so you might find something nearby. https://www.caninehoopersuk.co.uk

Both the Hoopers and Dog Parkour are great for developing your dog's agility, balance, body awareness and will help to keep your dog fit and active.


Do you currently take part in any of the above activities? Please share your insights and experience in the comments to this post. We would love to hear your experiences! There are similar teams in many other countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia and in many countries of Europe.

#tricktraining #dogtraining #trainingideas #talenttracks #trickdogtitles #dogsports #meaningful

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