Owning a dog is a really rewarding experience for a whole number of reasons. You’ll develop a strong bond with your dog that will last their lifetime, have company on long walks, and enjoy playing games together. But what about if you want to take it that one step further and find an activity that’s not only fun, but tests your dog’s mental and physical ability too? Meet Urban Agility, which is also known as ‘Dog Parkour’! In this article, we’ll be giving you a short introduction on what Urban Agility is all about, plus some of the benefits that it can have for you and your four-legged friend.
What is Urban Agility?
Never heard of it before? It’s quite a new and unique concept, but more and more people (and dogs!) are getting involved in it every single day. You and your dog move through your environment, conquering all of the obstacles that cross your path. It can be a competitive sport, or just some fun exercise for you and your dog to take part in together. And, it combines all sorts of activities and skills such as balancing, jumping, climbing, conquering fear, and self-control that helps test your dog’s mental and physical ability and give them the exercise they crave. To take part in this activity, you can either use the everyday obstacles you find out and about, such as logs and tree stumps, or use specially designed equipment to take it to another level!
Does Urban Agility, or dog parkour, sound like the sort of thing you’d like to get involved in? Well, dogs of all breeds and sizes can take part, as well as their owners! Dogs love the enrichment and exercise they get from following your lead, overcoming obstacles, and strengthening your bond. From new puppies to adult dogs, it’s also a great sport for all ages! Truly, everyone can have fun with dog parkour.
How can I take part?
As a beginner, no special skills are required to take part in this fun activity! All your dog needs is basic obedience training and, of course, a good recall. However, until you have learned from an experienced person, it is advised only to tackle obstacles which don’t involve all four of your dog’s feet being off the ground. And, don’t go tackling anything where your dog could become injured. It’s a fun sport that anyone can get involved in, but it’s always a good idea to learn safety and the basics first.
As their owner, you can get involved too and show them just how fun it is! If you’ve got a taste for the sport, you can move on to bigger obstacles or even to a specially-designed Urban Agility course packed with fun equipment like we are installing here at Royvon early in the New Year.
When dog parkour goes hand in hand with your dog’s regular training, it can help them improve and learn new skills even faster than before. The foundation of all good training is a positive and trusting relationship between you and your dog. Urban Agility will help you develop this relationship. Your dog will learn to trust you and follow your lead, and you will both have fun doing it!
Why should my dog and I get involved in dog parkour?
There are plenty of benefits to taking part in Urban Agility, for both you and your dog! Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s always a great idea to get involved.
It’s an activity that builds trust
As we’ve already mentioned, this is a great activity to take part in if you want to build trust between you and your dog. By guiding them through obstacles that they’ve never conquered before, they will learn to listen to you and follow your lead, helping to strengthen and improve your relationship with them.
A new competitive sport
Looking for a new hobby that combines fun and fitness? Urban Agility could be perfect for you! You and your dog can turn this into a rewarding hobby by entering competitions that regularly take place across the country.
Exercise for your dogs
If you have a large breed of dog who needs plenty of exercise, this is a great option to help them blow off steam. It also provides mental enrichment to help prevent boredom and lead to happier, well-trained dogs. Even if you have a small breed that doesn’t require as much exercise, this offers a fun alternative to your daily walks for everyone!
An activity for the whole family
Urban Agility is something that everyone can enjoy! As long as your family members have a good relationship with your dog and are able to control them, there’s no reason why the whole family can’t get involved in this activity!
Keep fit and have fun
Dog parkour doesn’t just provide fun and exercise for your dogs! It’s also a great way to keep fit for humans too. It’s always encouraged to get stuck in with your dog and climb, run, and jump with them. So, it offers an amazing workout for everyone involved.
Become a pioneer of something new
Urban Agility is still not that well known in the UK, although it is definitely growing in popularity. Why not be among some of the first to adopt it as a hobby or competitive sport? From there, you can get your friends involved and help grow this sport into a big movement all over the UK!
Overall, Urban Agility, or Dog Parkour, is a fantastic way to keep you and your dog fit, have fun, improve their training, and strengthen your bond together. What’s not to love? If it’s something that you would like to know more about or get involved in, please get in touch with Royvon, as we will be introducing equipment and sessions in the new year of 2021, on top of our already numerous training and fun sessions for dogs!
Darren is the Managing Director of Royvon Dog Training & Hotels. The business has been in his family for over 60 years! Darren uses this blog to share knowledge and information about dog training and more.