After a hard day at work you want to go to the gym and then just get on the couch and lounge around. But oh dear, there was something else: Your dog is standing in front of you with a wagging tail. He looks at you with big, reproachful eyes to remind you of something: It’s time to go for a walk! But that UND to go to the gym? Too much. But hey, how about combining the two? Then you could do something good for yourself and your four-legged friend. Svenja Sörensen will tell you how to do that.
The fitness and “fit with dog” trainer explains what you need to keep in mind so that you and your dog have fun doing sports.
To lose weight when hiking
Which sports with dog are there?
On the one hand you should distinguish between dog sport and sport with a dog. The former describes sports where the animal is in the foreground, for example agility. Here the dog masters a course with obstacles. In sports with dog, both humans and animals are equally involved. This is for example the case with “Fit with dog”. “Fit mit Hund” is a holistic training concept, in which the cooperation between humans and four-legged friends is in the foreground.
There are various courses for beginners and advanced users, such as walk-fitness. In this course walks are combined with fitness stops,” says Sörensen. Basically, all endurance sports are well suited for sports with dogs – whether jogging, cycling or even swimming. Recently, however, trend sports such as Doga (Dog Yoga) have also become increasingly popular.
Can I do sports with any dog?
In principle yes! However, you should consider the age and health of the animal. Walks with light exercises are recommended early on. However, you should only jog with your dog from the age of 1-2 years. Svenja Sörensen explains: “Puppies should not run for that long, as tendons and ligaments have not yet fully developed. Also important: Although there are dog breeds that have been bred for a certain activity. But: Not every dog that was bred for running, for example, has fun doing it.
Even very overweight animals should not run long distances. Always look at what your dog, and above all you too, enjoy doing. “It is great if your dog enjoys jogging 10 kilometres. But if you don’t enjoy it, it will be transferred to your four-legged friend,” says Sörensen. The best way to find out what suits you both is to try it out.
Sport with dog brings variety to routine walks. © ma-photo/ Shutterstock.com
The 5 advantages of sport with dog
Do you want to bring variety to routine walks? Then sport with dog is just the right thing! Here are the reasons:
1. the trust between dog and owner is strengthened Sörensen explains: “If I want my dog to balance over a tree trunk and he succeeds, both have a sense of achievement”.
2. you can promote the social behaviour of your four-legged friend through sport with dog. “At Fit mit Hund I offer many group courses such as circuit training with dog. Here, the dog learns to hold back because there is no playtime during the training”, says the “Fit mit Hund” trainer.
3. dogs also become more balanced through sport. After a strenuous training session they are just as tired as humans.
4. sport has a positive effect on the dog’s psyche, because both humans and dogs enjoy exercise.
5. another important point is your personal motivation: if you combine sport with walking your dog, you are more likely to stick to your sports project. Because with him you have to get out every day anyway.
That’s why you live healthier with dog
Do humans and dogs get fitter by doing sports together?
Of course, training with a dog can also be a great addition to your own training. There are many ways to get fit and even lose weight by doing sports with a dog. “It’s up to the dog owner and the dog how ambitious both are in the matter and of course how often you train”, emphasizes Sörensen. Depending on the type of sport, you can certainly improve your fitness and condition.
For example, strength endurance and the cardiovascular system can be increased by exercises with your own body weight such as squats, which you can incorporate along the way.
Your dog can also be a good training partner for yoga. © Chutima Chaochaiya/ Shutterstock.com This is how effective training at home is
5 tips for beginners
1. start slowly
Give your dog the opportunity to familiarize himself with the equipment such as jigging boards.
2. bring patience
Do not put pressure on your dog and introduce him to the new situation in a playful way. It is exactly the same with humans: Practice makes perfect.
3. do not train too long
Do not work too long at a stretch with your quadruped. For the entrance some minutes are optimal. Dogs rest naturally 18-20 hours a day. Too much action can also overstrain your dog.
4. correctly identify signs of stress
Panting, a hanging, dark red tongue and shortness of breath are signs that your dog is overtaxed. Even if you drag your dog on the leash or if he lies down in between, you should stop the training immediately!
5. have fun
That is the most important rule! Also pay attention to your dog whether he feels comfortable in the situation.
Do I need special equipment?
The expert recommends to buy a belt for the leash, so that you have your hands free when doing sports with your four-legged friend. There are special jogging leashes with belt that have a recoil absorber. If the dog pulls on the leash, the strain on the back is minimized. A good harness is also important for the dog. It should sit loosely and must not chafe. Otherwise there are no limits to your creativity. How about a workout with Petziball? Or exercises on a wobble board?
It is only important that the dog slowly gets used to the new training equipment. Include everyday objects in the training, such as a tree trunk.
Grab your quadruped and start your partner workout. Sport offers not only many advantages for the dog, but also for you. It promotes fitness and strengthens both physical and mental health. And the most important thing: Sport with dog is super fun!