All dogs, large and small, need excercise! Some breeds are lazier than others, but all have to be exercised and walked regularly to keep active and healthy (and it will help the dog owners to keep active and healthy too!).
There are lots of fun ways to give your dog some exercise that you can both enjoy. The following are just a few suggestions ..
Canicross is now setting up all over the country and is a very sociable opportunity for you and your dog. This is where the owner usually wears a padded belt around their waist and the dog is attached by a bungee lead to their harness. That way you have complete freedom of movement and so does the dog. There are lots of organised races available to do although if you have a greyhound you would only want the shorter 5k distance as anything else would be too much for them. If you don’t want an organised race then are lots of local groups who get together for a social run with their dogs. Facebook is a good place to look for any local groups. If you search for canicross on Facebook there is a variety to choose from.
If you don’t fancy canicross but would like to walk/run with the dog with a group of people (who don’t have dogs!) there is a run/walk called parkrun. These are held at 9am every Saturday and are all over the country. To find your local one look for www.parkrun.com or follow this link. Lots of people get together and a few take their dogs. It is good fun and because there are usually only a few dogs they get lots of attention! It’s a good time for them to wear their ‘Kent Greyhound Rescue’ coat and do a bit of advertising!
There are also groups of dog owners who get together to walk their dogs. This is also helps their socialisation skills and it is good fun for them to walk with their doggy friends. A lot of the local groups have a page on Facebook.
Another way of giving your dog some exercise without having to do much yourself is playing ball/Frisbee. If your dog can’t be trusted off a lead this can be done in the garden or in a special ‘dog area’. Shepway Council have set up a few of these and it is worth enquiring with other councils whether they have any of these areas. The dog can then play off the lead in a safe environment and often with other dogs that are there.
Flyball made its debut at Crufts in 1990 but it’s still not very well known. The dog would have to be trained for this recreational sport and it is very competitive. It involves 2 teams of 4 dogs who each have to race down their own lanes, jumping 4 hurdles and at the end of the lane they trigger a ‘flyball’ and they then have to run back to the start with the ball. I can imagine it is great fun but I can’t imagine my greyhound doing it when he doesn’t even do recall!
Dog Agility is another option for your dog to learn some discipline but enjoy him/herself at the same time. It is a bit of bonding time for dog and owner. Dogs run an assault course of hurdles, tunnels; weave poles etc. whilst the owner runs alongside with commands. The www.agilitynet.co.uk website is the best place to start if you are looking for a local club. As greyhounds are not the likeliest dog agility candidates there is another website called www.neversaynevergreyhounds.net