Doggy Bootcamp

Classes to help you get fit with Fido
By JoAnna Lou, February 2010, Updated July 2016

Last week Karen wrote about a study that found dog lovers exercise more than gym goers. If you and your pet aren’t exactly in shape, here are some classes to help you get started. Search online for similar programs in your area.

In New York, Bide-a-wee coordinates free Fitness with Fido group walks in Central Park to encourage pet lovers to be active with their furry companions. Trainers, behaviorists, and dogs for adoption join you on the 45-minute walk.

Doga, yoga for humans and dogs, has been increasing in popularity recently. In Seattle, Wash., Brenda Bryan blended classic Hatha yoga poses with massage and stretching to create Barking Buddha Doga. The class incorporates the pups fully into the moves, giving yoga lovers an opportunity to connect with their dogs in a whole new way. Names of the poses include Woofing Warrier and Muttley Mudras.

For those looking for something a bit more rigorous, doggy bootcamps are cropping up around the country. These exercise sessions combine cardio, strength training and obedience lessons. Some incorporate doga as well. In California, Thank Dog! Bootcamp’s session are run by a personal trainer and a dog trainer to make sure the non-stop sessions are safe for all involved. Pet lovers without a pup can borrow a four-legged partner.

Have you ever participated in any dog-related fitness sessions?

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.