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Bond With Your Dog by Playing Parkour

Dog Parkour is a way for you and your dog to interact with your environment. Your dog will be encouraged to jump, climb, balance on, go over, crawl under, and go around different obstacles in their everyday world.


This physically low impact but mentally challenging sport is open to all dogs.  And we do mean ALL dogs!  As long as you’re following all safety protocols, puppies can learn to play this game.  Parkour is a great way to keep your older dog mentally and physically challenged, again, as long as you’re following safety protocols.  Teeny tiny dogs can play and so can the big guys!  The beauty of this sport is that everything can be modified so that all dogs can enjoy it in a way that works for them.  If you have that super active, highly trained and physically fit Border Collie you can add more challenges.  But if you have a Mastiff or Great Dane, don’t walk away from this sport!  There’s a ton you can do while keeping your dog safe and healthy.  Do you have a reactive dog?  No problem!  If you’re in a safe environment, you can play Parkour anywhere!


Why are we so excited about Parkour?  There are so many benefits for your dog, and YOU!  It is mentally and can be physically challenging.  It builds confidence because we are allowing the dogs choice when interacting with objects, so they are in control.  Parkour provides enrichment to your dog’s daily routine because it stimulates their senses.  The skills dogs learn in Parkour can translate to other activities, such as obedience, agility, nose work, tricks, herding – really any other dog sport out there. 


One of my personal favorite aspects of Parkour is how it strengthens my bond and connection with my dogs.  When we are going for a walk, instead of thinking about all of the things I need to do or should be doing – I’m looking for objects to interact with.  And while I like to let my dogs sniff and enjoy nature on our walks, I also want them to check in with me and know I’m with them.  By stopping sporadically during the walk to interact with an object or obstacle, it keeps us connected.


Most importantly, Parkour is just fun!



A dog practicing Dog Parkour.
Leia doing a "through" in the Buffalo sign.


Did you know you can also earn titles and ribbons playing Parkour?  I have earned Novice, Intermediate, Specialty and a Championship title with my dogs.  But let’s talk about titles for a second.  While yes, I do like earning titles and ribbons, it’s very rewarding for the human, but that’s not the only reason I submit for Parkour titles (or any virtual titles).  I am an extremely busy, task-oriented person.  If I have a daily to-do list and goal set it gives me encouragement to actually do the things.  So, if “work on Chewie’s Intermediate title” is on my list…I am more apt to practice and work on our skills than if it was not on the list.  That might sound sad to a lot of people, but it’s just the way my brain works…and maybe yours does, too.  That’s why I wanted to mention the titles.  Goals!


If I have sold you on this super fun activity and you would like to learn more, check out the International Dog Parkour Association website for more information about Parkour.  IDPKA also offer classes and webinars and I highly recommend them.  I also have a few virtual classes on Pet Dog U if you would like to work with me virtually and Do Over Dog Training offers Parkour classes throughout the year.


If you want to hear me talk more about Parkour, as well as 24 other speakers on enrichment activities, check out the Dog Enrichment Summit. You can register here:

 


Lori is passionate about strengthening the bond between owners and their pets. She is thrilled that she can devote herself to teaching nose work, parkour and obedience classes, both in person and virtually.

 

When not playing K9 Nose Work, Lori and her dogs LOVE playing Dog Parkour.  Daisy has earned a Parkour Championship with IDPKA and Chewie is working on her Intermediate title.  At 14+ years young, Daisy still practices her parkour moves when hiking in the woods and enjoys every minute of it.  The best part about Parkour is that this is an activity that can be modified to make it safe and enjoyable for all dogs.

Lori is a certified parkour instructor through the International Dog Parkour Association and an in-person evaluator for Training Level and Novice titles if you live in the area and would like to be tested in-person rather than recording everything for your title and submitting to IDPKA.

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