Couple involvement in serious leisure: Examining participation in dog agility

Wendy Hultsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


In this paper serious leisure is explored through the experiences of couple involved in dog agility. Modified auto-ethnography and narrative inquiry were used to gather data from 25 couples where both partners compete in dog agility and from 25 couples where one person competes and the other attends the competitions as a support spouse. Stebbins' qualities of a serious leisure enthusiast are supported and refuted relative to couples' leisure. The data recognised that while participation as a couple was somewhat important, most of the attention focused on interaction(s) and support of the/their dog(s). The data identified both positive and negative aspects of shared serious leisure, including sacrifices made to pursue the sport, the impact of spousal support and lack of support, and the intense bonding of people and their pets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-253
Number of pages23
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • couples
  • dog agility
  • shared leisure
  • spousal support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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