Nordic Dog Walking

Mary Tweed
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As a nation of dog lovers, it is hardly surprising that a large proportion of Nordic Walking East Anglia’s clients are dog owners. We are often asked whether it is possible to Nordic Walk with a dog in tow. The answer is a resounding YES.

We all lead busy lives and so it makes sense to combine your own exercise regime with your pet’s daily walk. A traditional dog lead is not naturally compatible with Nordic Walking poles and, unless your dog is perfectly behaved, the result can be a comedic tangled mess of legs, poles, fur and leads all lying in an ungainly heap on the ground.

I have been Nordic Walking with my Cockerpoo since he was a puppy and can offer the following advice:

Invest in a hands free dog lead

  • Pet shops and Amazon now offer a wide range of hands free dog leads, consisting of a belt with pockets for keys, phone and the essential poo bags, as well as a metal ring to which you can clip a double ended lead.

Encourage your dog to walk slightly ahead

  • I know that this goes against the advice of a lot of dog trainers, but if your dog walks to heel he risks being spiked by your poles. Also, if your dog is behind, it will not be possible for you to extend your arm fully, as the lead will impede your full arm swing.

Lead Length

  • Adjust the lead so that it is slightly longer than the length of your pole, as I have found this to be the optimum length. If the lead is too long, there is a chance that your dog will end up tangled around your legs; if it is too short, you will not be able to swing your arm forward actively without making contact with your dog (never a good idea!)

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate dogs in our Nordic Walking lessons. Firstly, our insurance specifically excludes dogs from participating; secondly, not all our clients are happy around dogs; and thirdly (and most importantly) we believe that it is important to have time to focus on yourself without worrying about controlling a dog at the same time.

For the dog lovers out there, I hope that this will enable you to incorporate Nordic Walking in the East Anglian countryside into your daily routine with your canine best friend.

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