A special bond exists between an owner and their dog when the two are focused on a singular goal. Performance dogs are any animal engaged in various dog sport activities, such as obedience, show, agility, hunting, tracking, rally, and field trials, to name a few. 

Becoming involved in these events is not only fun for your dog but also rewarding for you. While performance events are open to all dogs, including mixed breeds, not every dog will be a good fit for this hobby and lifestyle. 

Of course, all dogs are cute. But you probably can’t take them ALL home. Choosing a performance dog should be a deliberate process to ensure you and your pet get started on this road with the best chance of success. Here are six tips for choosing a performance dog. 

1. Pick a Breed

You don’t have to choose a purebred dog if you want to get involved in performance activities. But certain breeds may be more suited to the activities you want to do, so it’s worthwhile to learn about these differences. For example, a French Bulldog is easy to train but won’t be very “sporty,” whereas a golden retriever is more suited to active events. 

2. Locate a Reputable Performance Dog Breeder

Not all breeders are the same. If you plan to purchase your performance dog through a breeder, do your due diligence so you are dealing with someone who has the animal’s best interests at heart. 

3. Research a Dog’s Bloodlines

Even if you decide on a particular breed, you’ll want to do some additional research on the dog’s bloodlines. Find out as much as you can going back several generations so you can get a better idea of things like behavior and intelligence. 

4. Exercise Patience

Even after you’ve narrowed down your options, the ideal pet may not materialize immediately. It will be worth it to exercise a bit of patience for the right litter to come along. You might even need to get on a waiting list or travel a few miles to get the pup of your dreams. 

5. Consider Health Testing

In some cases, you will have the option of health testing. If this is possible, you may wish to consider it. These are genetic tests that focus on things like the dog’s skeletal system, joints, etc. While they can’t forecast the future, these tests can bring some peace of mind. 

6. Avoid Price Shopping for Performance Dogs

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save a few dollars. However, it’s important to consider that the price you pay for your performance dog will likely be much lower than the sum you’ll spend on their lifetime food, training, and care. If you buy the right dog, you’ll save money on those other items in the long run. 

Get Professional and Compassionate Care for Your Performance Dog

Once you choose your performance dog or puppy, you’ll want to get established with a local veterinarian who can provide the care you need and deserve. Florence Animal Hospital is a South Carolina veterinary clinic that specializes in the care of performance animals, cats, and horses. We provide regular vet services, boarding, as well as reproductive services and orthopedic care for your pets. Call us today at (843) 799-5125 for an appointment or to learn more about our services.