If you’ve spotted our recent ‘Creating Hoopers Equipment‘ blog, you may be wondering what Hooper is? Well, you’re in the right place to find out.
Canine Hoopers is a relatively new sport, with the Uk Canine Hoopers club only forming in 2017. The canine sport originated in America in the 1990’s, spreading to Europe and finally landing with us the UK where it has rapidly gained popularity, but what exactly is ‘Hoopers’ and what’s the big deal?
The biggest appeal of Hoopers, in comparison to other dog sports, is the accessibility. The sport is designed to be suitable for all dogs, from large to tiny breeds and all of those that fall in-between. As well as those dogs that may not be up to the high impact associated with agility. This can include playful puppies and golden oldies, as there are no jumps and the courses are designed to be flowing with no tight turns.
It’s not just dogs that will find the sport more accessible. Hoopers is also a sport that can appeal to owners who have limited mobility. The sport encourages distance handling with verbal and visual cues around a course. It focusses on building up distance between handler, dog and equipment overtime. This distance work is a great way to build a dogs confidence and independence while also helping dogs bond with their owner, working together and having fun at the same time!
The courses consist of Hoops, tunnels and barrels, all equipment which can be purchased from a selection of online retailers or made at home following tutorials like ours! Meaning anyone can get involved without a huge outlay to purchase equipment. You can even design your own course using equipment you may have around the home, swapping out the standard barrels for pop-up laundry hampers or water butts, some people even stick their hoop ends into old plant pots, the only limit is your imagination.
So how do you get involved? With recent lockdown restrictions in place lots of dog training classes opted to move online. Canine Hoopers UK even put together their very owner ‘Online Good Hoopers Awards‘ a great option for anyone wanting to try something new from home – we’ve just signed up to their foundation class and can’t wait to get started with Hudson. There are 5 levels from foundation, through to Bronze, Silver, Gold and finally Platinum, catering for all abilities! Each level includes a series of online training videos, delivered via Facebook groups, teaching you everything you need to know about Canine Hoopers! At the end of each glass you will be awarded a certificate and can even order a rosette to mark your achievement. As restrictions ease more and more canine classes will be restarting including hoopers classes and with the rise in popularity and demand you may find even more classes in your local area.
If you want to find out more, or look at classes that may be available locally, we’d really recommend checking out the Canine Hoopers Uk Website! If you do choose to have a go yourself don’t forget to share your fun on instagram and tag our page @EnrichingPaws, we’d love to see what you get up to!