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12 sports activities you can do with your dog

Would you like to share some sporting moments with your dog? It all depends on your dog: is he athletic or a slob? Is he in good health or does he suffer from some disorders? Your dog can't follow you anywhere and in any sport activity without precaution. Here is a list of the 12 sports activities that you can do with your dog and some tips to help you organize them.

Hiking and running


Whether walking or running (you'll find the term cani-cross), your dog accompanies you and you are connected to each other by something other than a leash that you hold in your hand. For these activities, you need to put a harness on the dog, you need a harness and an elastic lanyard of about 2 meters to connect you to the dog.

Hiking is a sporting activity that goes beyond a simple walk. It involves several hours of walking, sometimes over several days, with possible elevation changes. You need to make sure that your dog can handle the distance you want to walk.

The point of walking or running with your dog is to find the pace that suits you and your pet. You form a real tandem and if a very fit animal can help motivate his master and help him to exceed his limits, the master will not be able to force an animal to provide too much effort at the risk of injuring him. The idea is to find a comfortable pace, especially for the dog.

When choosing your itinerary, remember that dogs are not allowed in national parks, some regional parks and nature reserves. Also, make sure the place you might be stopping at is dog-friendly.

If you are taking your dog on a snowshoeing trip in the mountains, it is important to give him enough to drink so that he is not tempted to ingest snow. This could cause diarrhea and/or vomiting, and even pain. Like you, your dog may need time to adapt to mountain conditions: low temperatures, altitude, snowy and icy surfaces. Many dogs enjoy this environment and will likely have a lot of fun. During your stay, you can compensate for his extra energy expenditure by increasing his daily food intake by 20-30%.

Canyoning (water hiking)


For any activity involving water, it is preferable that the dog be equipped with a dog life jacket. It goes without saying that your dog must be a strong, water-loving, good swimmer. If your dog is too old or sick, forget about going through the cold and turbulent waters of the river together.

You will be careful to select a "beginner" canyon where the obstacles can be passed smoothly. You don't want your dog to jump or slip in the difficult passages. In any case, talk to the guide to be sure that the activity is feasible for your dog.

Skateboarding, skating on roads or snow, cross-country skiing


In all these disciplines, the dog is the motor by traction. But whether it's on the road, where you ride behind your dog, or on snowy terrain, where you slide behind him, you don't let yourself be completely pulled and participate in the efforts necessary to move forward.

You don't have to be new to these sports. For example, in cross-country skiing, you are connected to the dog by a bungee cord and the dog runs in front, just like hiking and running. But you can quickly pick up speed. The dog must have stamina and you must have enough control of your skis not to hurt your dog.

Mountain biking and fat biking


To ride a bike with your dog, either the dog is attached to the front of the bike, in traction mode, or it is attached to the side. The equipment must be adapted so that the elastic lanyard does not wrap around the front wheel. You need a straight or curved mountain bike bar, depending on the attachment option you choose. Don't hesitate to ask for advice from specialists or people who already practice this sport with their animal.

Learning basic commands such as "turn left", "turn right", "stop", "go forward", etc.) is also necessary for a good progress of the practice.

The fatbike is a mountain bike but with extra-wide tires, limiting the sinking in sand, snow and particularly muddy grounds. The fatbike allows you to go to places inaccessible to simple mountain bikes. This opens up new routes. The fatbike can even be used with two dogs. Stay alert and don't put your pet in danger!

Canoeing and paddle boarding


These water rides can be relaxing for your dog who is content to stay by your side.

The precautions to take for these activities are the same as for canyoning discussed above. It is also necessary to familiarize your dog with the boat. Take the time to show him the board or canoe on land, let him sniff it and climb on or in it. Dogs don't like hard plastics that slide under their paws, so you can reassure your dog and improve his comfort by placing a towel where he will land.

You can then familiarize your dog with the paddle or the canoe in the water, in a place where the dog has a foot, by making him go up, down, jump... If he is at ease, then you can try the experience. If he is not, you should not force him. He would try to get down, which could put himself in danger and spoil your walk.

Paragliding


It is possible to paraglide with your dog. The dog is equipped with a harness, and depending on the altitude and the temperature you may encounter, a winter coat may be useful to protect your dog from a cold snap.

It is recommended to practice with a paragliding instructor who has already flown with dogs. A stressed dog develops behaviors such as turning away from petting, licking his lips quickly, yawning. Know how to identify these behavioral cues so that you don't impose anything on him.

Riding a horse


Dogs and horses are often in close proximity. It seems obvious that large dogs will be more comfortable than small ones. The best thing is to adapt a dog to horses from a young age. Young dogs are certainly fearful but also curious, which can help them overcome their fear. It is possible to have a dog and a horse that are both adults. The adaptation will simply take a little more time.