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!


Second K9 Camp Challenge – Play with your Balls


It’s time for our blog post on our second K9 camp challenge, which was to play with balls in some way to improve your dog’s fitness. Guinness is ball crazy, so this was easy. Again, I wanted to try something a bit different, something other than tossing a tennis ball down the back yard for him to chase.

So, I thought we’d start training in Treibball, which is a dog sport using big gym balls. Guinness is an Australian Working Kelpie, so he is instinctively a herding dog. I figured since I’m not allowed to have sheep (eh, husband!), then he could learn to herd a ball. It doesn’t smell the same, and it doesn’t leave those yummy little pellets on the ground, but he can still chase it.

Keeping in mind that the point of the exercise was to get some exercise rather than get a perfectly trained treibball dog, I made a start. The first thing was to use the clicker to get Guinness to nose the ball. He’d do anything for a liver treat, and it wasn’t long before he was occasionally offering the behaviour. Look at that tongue!

He wasn’t hitting the ball hard enough yet to move it, so I helped with my foot. As we both became more enthusiastic about moving the ball, I started to kick it harder and harder. It wasn’t long before we were both hooning down the back yard after the rolling gym ball.

If you read the treibball websites, this wasn’t the best way to teach Guinness to herd a ball. But, it sure was a fun way to get him (and me) running up and down chasing a big yellow ball.

Another fun alternative would be a soccer ball but I think being such a tall dog, the gym ball was closer to Guinness’s nose level and perhaps easier for him to push. He wouldn’t have to bend down as much.

It was a fun week playing with our balls, and we’re looking forward to seeing what the next challenge has in store for us.

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Categories : General



I love how you “kicked” it up a notch with the gym ball! Since Guinness is a herding dog, and since you’re not allowed to have sheep (bah!) how about filling your yard with a herd of white gym balls and kicking them all over for Guinness to herd. Now that could be fun!!
Peggy and Kelly


What a cool idea! My dog isn’t a herding dog but I do think with a clicker I may get her interested in this soccer type game you played with Guinness. Thanks for the inspiration!


That is one of Kolchak and I’s favourite games. We played it A LOT last week. It’s so funny to see my itty bitty puggle chase the giant gym ball!


Treibball looks like so much fun! I tried to get Riley interested in a Jolly Ball, but she just batted at it with her paws and not her nose. Great way to play ball!


That was a fabulous idea! Desmond is interested in my big exercise ball–but only when I’m trying to use it to, ya know, exercise. He’s such an attention whore. 🙂


I can vouch for this style of training and bonding with your dog. Good Work!!

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