Activities For Athletes With Dogs

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Introduction

To bodybuilders, cross fit trainers, joggers, runners, free runners and physical athletes the world over who are looking for a few activities to try out with your dog, we've got you covered. We understand that the gym may not be the most accessible place for a dog and that it may be harder than it initially seems to find physical activities that you can perform with your dog. That's why we've complied this list of activities for athletic dog owners to try out with their pets the next time they're looking for ways to become stronger while also bonding with their pets.

Active Fetch

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Frisbee
Ball
Stick
Activity description
Active fetch is exactly what you might imagine; the next time you take your dog out to play a game of fetch, have a number of low to medium intensity exercises in mind, throw your item of choice a good distance, and then complete a short set of exercises in while your dog charges off to fetch the item you've just sent flying. Exercises like push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks, planks, or crunches are perfect to try and complete as your dog trots off to retrieve the item. Try to complete 5 reps of a different exercise each time you toss your dog's item.
Step
1
Warm up
Considering the fact that you and your dog will be doing lots of spontaneous physical activity throughout the day, it's highly advised that you stretch your muscles to help prevent from straining or pulling any of them in the heat of the moment.
Step
2
Plan your workout
Before you and your dog even step foot outside, you'll want to know which muscle groups you plan on training for the day as well as the work outs you plan on incorporating in your routine. You can feel free to switch things up to a degree, but try to keep the exercises short and simple.
Step
3
Work hard, play hard
This activity is a great way to bond with your dog while simultaneously becoming stronger, but it likely shouldn't be thought of as a replacement for your regular workout out routine; try to incorporate this activity during times you''d otherwise simply play with your dog.
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Chase

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
15 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description
Chase is a lot like a game of Tag, only it involves a game between a dog and a human and inherently only allows for one of those two parties to use their hands. Games of Chase are great ways for both dog and owner to break a sweat without using any equipment or having to pay a single dime. This particular activity is best attempted on days that are nice, sunny or, at the very least, have a very low chance of raining. You won't  want to bring any toys or balls along for this activity, you'll just want to focus on getting your dog engaged in the Chase and (to try) outrunning them when they do.
Step
1
Choose a good location
A successful game of Chase is largely based off of the amount of space you have at your disposal. Depending on where you live, you may not have to look so far and wide for that. Use all the resources you have at your disposal to ensure that your intense game of Chase is also encouraging. Grab your pet's leash and head out the door to a field or park that is safe for leash free play.
Step
2
Motivate your dog
Some dogs may become discouraged if they're unable to catch up with their owners quickly enough. Should this happen, encourage your dog and let them catch u to you a few times on purpose. At this step of the activity, what's really important is to help your dog understand that it's just a game and that their are no long term consequences that'd result from their losses. In reality though, your pet will most likely show you how it's done, in that they can be very fast runners.
Step
3
The chase is afoot
Be consistent with your games of Chase and try to keep a mental note of the various ways your dog learns to adapt and tackle the game. Your dog is smart enough to eventually learn all the ticks at your disposal and turn them against you in a number of surprising ways.
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Musical Canine Freestyle

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
10 min
Items needed
Music Playing Device
Activity description
Dog owners looking to put some pep in their pet's step will likely be delighted to hear about the sport of Musical Canine Freestyle; this sport uniquely combines aspects of Obedience Training and dancing to creative a truly innovative means of expression and connection between a dog and their owner. Musical Canine Freestyle, also known as Musical Freestyle or simply Canine Dance, is a relatively recent sport compared to many of the others that have been mentioned on this list, with its inception dating back to the year of 1989. Nevertheless, Canine Dance is proving to be a popular and engrossing sport that's on the rise.
Step
1
Obedience training
Canine Dance requires tons of coordination and focus both from the dog and owner involved in a particular act. As one might imagine, a dog must be able to follow their owner's lead to the letter and they also can't get distracted during the performance. To that end, go through some Obedience Training courses with your dog to achieve harmony with them.
Step
2
Break down your set
Most dog owners who engage in this activity don't try to have their pet memorize the entire routine from the get go. Instead, they break the routine down into smaller subsets which only feature about 2 to 3 moves a piece. Only after the dog comes to understand when to do what will the owner then proceed to link those separated pieces back together.
Step
3
Practice
After going through obedience school and breaking down the entire routine, piece by piece, you and your dog are that much closer to being able to successfully complete a Canine Dance routine. Remain supportive and nurturing towards your dog even if it seems like progress is moving at a snail's pace.
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More Fun Ideas...

Agility Courses

Agility Courses are great ways to put your dog's speed and ingenuity to the test; this activity involves coaching your dog through an arduous obstacle course filled with poles, tunnels, sleds, slides and seesaws. This activity is often prominently featured in dog pageants but it's a great way to burn off a lot of your dog's energy, even if you no plans of going competitive.

Go for a Ride

For the dog owners out there who have a passion for skateboarding, cycling or rollerblading, this activity might just be right up your alley; you'll need a leash to help keep your dog nearby and possibly a special type of harness depending on the terrain you plan on taking your dog through.

Play Soccer

This can be a very fun way to build up your dog's coordination skills as well as help them break  a sweat out on the Soccer field. To try this activity,  you'll simply need access to an open field (preferably one with a Soccer goal or two already set up) and a ball for your dog to nudge and tackle around.

Conclusion

The activities mentioned here are just a few of the many ways athletic dog owners can use to bond with their dogs. Going beyond them, athletic dog owners are highly encouraged to create their own activities with their dogs, so long as they're conducted in a safe and controlled manner. Dogs are animals that enjoy physical challenges as well as mental ones,  so be sure to mix up your dog's workout from time to time. With all of the activities mentioned in this guide in mind, feel free to put your own spins on them and modify them as needed in order to give your dog and yourself a good workout.