What the Heck is Dog Parkour?
Dog Parkour is a way to use the everyday world to engage your dog in jumping, climbing, crawling, turning, balancing, and thinking hard about what their bodies are doing. It’s not just jumping on and off things–it’s creating a shared game for you and your dog as a team, out of nothing but the environment around you!
Dogs learn to pay keen attention to their handler’s verbal and physical instructions, so your dog is learning impulse control and focus. Your job as the handler is to be your dog’s spotter and coach. The game builds a ton of trust between you and your dog.
I teach classes in Dog Parkour on Tuesdays in Columbia City and Fridays in the University District. During the spring, summer and fall I also offer outdoor Dog Parkour sessions! Find out more here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
With so many ways to play with our dogs, why play THIS game?
- It’s accessible and adjustable to any level of physical skill, from puppies and gray-muzzles to fit, athletic performance sports dogs
- It builds a huge range of skills
- You can train and play anywhere, any time
- All that’s required is a sturdy, well-fit harness with a back clip–you don’t have to buy a ton of supplies
- Dogs LOVE it–there’s no pressure, no performance rings, no fear of failure, just fun!
What Dogs Are Good at Parkour?
- Walks become an adventure and a team sport
- Timid dogs gain confidence
- Over-exuberant dogs learn to focus on what they’re doing and pay attention to their person
- Learn about the world in an active and positive way
- Practice obedience skills through fun, physical games
- Build lots of motor skills and aid physical development
Performance sport dogs:
- Build on important foundation skills in a new context
- Gain strength and coordination
- Use impulse control, verbal discriminations and focus instead of just drive, drive, drive
Reactive or fearful dogs:
- See greater success when you redirect your reacting dog to a fun physical activity instead of a stationery obedience behavior
- A greater level of mental and physical stimulation leads to a more relaxed dog
- Focus your dog on other elements in the environment than the thing they don’t like
My own reactive dog has been SO much more successful in the world since we started Parkour. It’s changed our lives!
Go Outside and Have Fun!
Whether you’re walking your dog down your block, wandering through a park, hiking in the woods or shopping at the lumber yard, everywhere is your Parkour playground once you have some basic skills. You and your dog won’t want to stop!