People in Finland have an active lifestyle with their dogs, and an even wider range of dog-related activities have been taken up. In 2016, the number of participations in different trials and competitions was 188 153. The number has increased by 3,8 % compared with the previous year. The number of dog show entries was 188 032, which is 6,7 % less than in the previous year. The popularity of some traditional hunting sports have decreased while the popularity of several more unknown forms of ac
During the last year, agility has been brought to public notice. The sport status of agility was confirmed last year when the Finnish Agility Association was accepted as a member of the Finnish Olympic Committee in November 2016. The popularity of agility is continuing to increase and the number of performances in agility competitions in 2016 was 127 500. The number is 7,5 % higher than in 2015.
The popularity of rally obedience, which was made an official trial form in 2014, is increasing by leaps and bounds. In 2016, the number of participations in rally obedience was 10 150, which is 34 % more than the year before when the number of entries was 7 556. Different elements from obedience, agility and dog dance are combined in rally obedience.
The Chair of the Finnish Kennel Club's Board Harri Lehkonen sees that the popularity of both agility and rally obedience is based on the tight cooperation between the dog and its handler.
– People want to be included in the activities. In these sports, the dog's handler plays a more important part than in dog shows, whereupon the significance of the cooperation between the dog and the human is emphasised. It is also very easy for anyone to try both of these sports, and it is not necessary to take part in trials and competitions unless you want to, Lehkonen reflects.
People take up a lot of various activities with their dogs. Different hunting sports used to hold the leading positions in trial and competition statistics, now the hunting trials are challenged by new trial forms which are constantly increasing in popularity. The number of performances for instance in dog dance, herding and sighthound track racing increased in 2016.
– It is great that we have such a wide selection of different canine activities. A suitable hobby can undoubtedly be found for every dog owner and dog, regardless of the dog's breed, Lehtonen sums up.
The Finnish Kennel Club is a nationwide expert organisation on canine matters. The club has more than 2000 canine activity organisations as members, and the total number of members including the person members is some 150 000.
For more information
The Finnish Kennel Club
(09) 8873 0292