Why Run With Your Dog?

Personal training for dogs. You’re kidding, right? Actually, no, we’re not. Research suggests up to 40% of our dogs are overweight, and they suffer from the same health complications that overweight people do. Veterinarians (including myself) are becoming more and more concerned about the increase in joint pain, heart disease and other obesity related illnesses in dogs. Hence, Pooch to 5k. Dogs can’t lift weights, or use the gym. If you’re going to increase their fat burning, you need to increase the intensity of their exercise. This means that a daily stroll just won’t cut it any more, it’s too laid back. The Pooch to 5k program will help you get your dog from doing nothing much to comfortably running 5km, over a period of 12 weeks.

Because you’ll be running with your dog, you’ll also get a great workout three times a week, as you train yourself to run 5km. Why not subscribe to our dog health and fitness newsletter and grab your dog, and you’re ready to go!




I have been reading a bit about Cani-Cross lately, a great running dog sport that is popular in the United Kingdom.

Cani-cross is cross-country running with your dog for all breeds, any size, big or small. In the UK there are organized events and races for you and your dog(s) to run together.

The running can be done with a conventional collar and lead but it is easier for you and your dog if you use a cani-cross belt for you, a cani-cross harness for your dog and a cani-cross bungee elastic lead connecting you and your dog. The belt means that your arms can swing freely and naturally; the harness is attached to the dog’s powerful chest rather than its neck and the elasticity of the lead absorbs sudden surges by the dog.

Cani-cross events are organized events for human/dog teams. Many races are around 5 km distance with short courses of 1 km for young children and adults who are just starting off running and who want to have a go. The races are organized in different classes according to the ages of the humans doing the running. Races are organized so that the runners leave at timed intervals rather than all together.

The events are advertised online and you apply online to join several days in advance

There are also some cani-cross clubs which arrange for more advanced and fitter cani-cross runners to join in races with dogless cross country runners. Normally the cani-cross runners set off first so that the dogs do not get in the way the ordinary runners.

All the organizations stress the importance of preparing both yourself and your dog for running by not being too ambitious when running, especially for the dog who will run until it drops.

If the dog is unfit then it needs to build up its stamina over several weeks. An unfit dog can suffer damage to joints and muscles if pushed too hard, and it is especially vulnerable to overheating, so be careful in hot weather, and it is also essential that the dog has plenty of water available to drink. Check your dog in the first half hour after running as this is the most dangerous time for overheating.

Above all else cani-cross creates the opportunity for you and your dog to have fun!

I’d love to organise something like this for Aussie dogs in winter. Mind you, the concept of being attached to Guinness by a harness as he flies down hills is quite daunting.

Do we have any UK readers who are involved in Cani-Cross? We’d love to hear your stories!


Picture courtesy of xornalcerto

Categories : Dog Friendly Runs



I’ve just moved to Brisbane from the UK and ran in Cani-Cross events in the UK, and have brought with me my dogs and harness systems. Was very disappointed to see there’s nothing like it over here, and so it’s now just me & my lads running in state forests on the weekends – somehow it doesn’t feel as safe when you’re solo than it does when you’re in woodland in the UK with 50 other runners!
It’d be great if the sport took off over here…


I would love to be involved in this. Surely Melbourne has some like minded people ready to start up a competition?

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