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A Dog Lover’s Guide to Hockey

by Coach Lilly

The National Hockey League (NHL) 2017 season opens on October 4th. To commemorate, DoggieNation presents A Dog Lover’s Guide to Hockey.

History of Hockey

Ancestors of hockey include stick-and-ball games dating back to ancient times. Eventually these games moved to icy surfaces, and the earliest version of what we know today as hockey was born. Montreal, Canada gets credit as the place where organized hockey was developed in the late 1800s. From the first organized indoor game played in 1875, the sport became more and more popular in Montreal and throughout Canada, soon spreading to the United States and Europe as well. Hockey also grew in popularity as a spectator sport.

The National Hockey League

The National Hockey Association (NHA) formed in Montreal in 1910, then re-organized as the National Hockey League (NHL) in 1917. The NHL is what we know today as the top professional hockey league in the world, made up of 24 teams from the United States and 7 teams from Canada. The 2017 NHL season kicks off on October 4th with four games played at arenas in the United States and Canada.

Watching Hockey with Your Dog

We think that watching sports is just more fun with your dog. The NHL season includes a whopping 1,271 games—plenty of chances for you to watch with your pup! If you are at home, you can snuggle on the couch or rug together while you watch. Just be aware that sudden noises (like loud cheering when your team scores a goal) can startle many dogs. You know your dog best and how well socialized she is to handle crowds of people and loud noises.

Playing Hockey with Your Dog

Well, let’s be honest. Most dogs are just not cut out to be very coordinated on the ice. But if you have a hockey stick and a ball you can play a modified version of hockey together that your dog will love! Set your dog up as a hockey goalie. First, set up a net to serve as the hockey goal. If you don’t have a net, you can also create your own goal by marking a rectangle with colored tape on the wall indoors or chalk on a brick wall if you are playing outside. Tell your dog to sit in front of the goal. Then, use your hockey stick to softly hit the ball toward the goal—and watch your dog play goalie!

DoggieNation Hockey Jerseys

If you and your dog are hockey fans, you can help your pet dress the part. Shop hockey team dog jerseys and accessories on DoggieNation.com to show your team pride in style. Find jerseys, dog bowls, leashes, and other accessories for these popular NHL teams: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, LA Kings, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, and Tampa Bay Lightening. With you and your dog dressed up in your favorite NHL team jerseys, you will be all set to cheer on your favorite team this hockey season.

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